Children left in locked in cars

What to do if you see children locked and left alone in a car?

Last week we once again heard of children left in a vehicle in the summer heat. As parents we sometimes do not realise how dangerous this can be. Sometimes we think it will be just a quick, at most 5 minutes, time to pick up or drop off something. This quick 5 minutes can change into a much longer time without us realising how long it has become. In this time so much can go wrong.This can also be classified as child abuse.

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Thank you for sponsoring the Ukukhanya ADHD Workshop

The Ukukhanya ADHD Workshop will be held on 04 December 2014.  Have you booked yet?  We have just received the fantastic news that Deeghuys will be sponsoring some seriously yummy food for the workshop.  If you do not yet know about Deeghuys you can check out their products by clicking on this link.

Thanks guys!  All of us at Ukukhanya are grateful and very excited.

Deeghuys-with-contact-details

Maintenance Amendment Bill, 2014

Minister Masutha tables the Maintenance Amendment Bill 2014 in Parliament

06 November 2014

DOJThe Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha has tabled the Maintenance Amendment Bill, 2014 in Parliament on 5 November 2014. The Bill, which has been preceded by a thorough consultative process with concerned parties and established institutions, aims to amend the Maintenance Act No. 99 of 1998. It augments the on-going review of the Act which is currently being undertaken by the South African Law Reform Commission.

The approval of the Bill by Parliament will usher in measures to compel maintenance defaulters to comply with their legal obligations relating to the support of their children. Parents who neglect the responsibility to pay maintenance for their children risk the possibility of compromising their credit records. If the Bill is adopted by Parliament, details of these maintenance defaulters will be submitted to credit bureau which rates the credit-worthiness of persons.  This, in turn, will prevent them from continuing to receive credit while they owe maintenance.

Maintenance courts will be empowered to order relevant institutions to provide details of maintenance defaulters.  On the strength of court orders in this regard, maintenance investigators and officers will be able to secure information from the electronic communication service providers such as Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom, if it is proven that the defaulter is a subscriber of that specific service provider. The Department is confident that this proposed amendment will improve the investigation process, because it is often difficult to trace maintenance defaulters and get them to court for purposes of maintenance inquiries.

The service providers are geared to assist and lend their support in this regard.  Government expresses its appreciation to them for their assistance in ensuring that persons who have maintenance obligations and who try to avoid their responsibilities are traced and required to carry out their legal obligations.  Women and children will undoubtedly benefit.

The Bill also proposes that, in instances where parties have agreed on their respective maintenance obligations and have signed a form to this effect, reflecting their maintenance obligations, there is no need for them to appear in court.   This will allow the maintenance court to make a maintenance order that is consistent with the agreement, in their absence. The amendment will reduce   workload of maintenance courts, minimise the turnaround time for the finalisation of cases and ensure that beneficiaries receive their money on time, in addition to obviating parents having to take time off work to appear in court where there is agreement on what maintenance is to be paid.

Furthermore, the Bill allows maintenance courts to make interim maintenance orders, pending the finalization of   maintenance inquiries.  This amendment will address the current situation where persons who clearly have maintenance obligations, try to delay, as far as possible, the granting of a maintenance order against them, to the detriment of the women and children involved. The amendments in this regard allow maintenance courts to make interim maintenance orders if there is evidence, indicating that a person has a maintenance obligation and the maintenance inquiry needs to be postponed for a good reason.  However, these interim maintenance orders can be reconsidered if later evidence so justifies.

The above merely highlights some of the proposed amendments in the Bill.   After thorough consultation with the stakeholders, the Bill will go through parliamentary processes and we are confident that the proposed amendments, collectively, will go a long way in making the maintenance system more effective. The amendments are intended to improve the processes relating to investigations by maintenance officers and investigators and empower the persons who have maintenance obligations to remain active participants in the decision-making.

In the spirit of participatory democracy and the interests of the maintenance system, the Department encourages all interested parties to submit their comments to Parliament and contribute in building a South Africa that cares for its women and children.

Enquiries: 
Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
0836418141
Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.za

This article has been copied verbatim from the Department of Justice official website.

ChildrenExposedtoDomesticAbuse

ChildrenExposedtoDomesticAbuse

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Chores & Responsibilities

Chores & Responsibilities

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Travelling with Children

South Africa has a new law regulating international travel with minors.  It has been in the media a lot lately due it it being implemented too quickly for people to comply.  However, the law will come in to effect on 01 June 2015 and here is what you need to know.

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Donations for Waterstone Security Guard Killed on Duty

On Sunday 19 October 2014 there was a fatal shooting at Pick N Pay Waterstone in Somerset West during a robbery.  A security guard was killed while performing his duties.  Ukukhanya, in association with other organisations, including Pick N Pay, are supporting a fund for the family of the slain man.

If you would like to contribute please make your donations in to the following account.  Please make the payment reference “shooting incident” so we know to allocate the money correctly, the email address for proof of payment is ukukhanya.reception@gmail.com

Any financial contribution can be made to:
Account Holder: Ukukhanya
Account Number: 62325848052
Branch Code: 200512
Account Type: FNB Cheque account

If you, a friend or family member witnessed the incident and require counselling Ukukhanya can be contacted on 021 850 0061

If you would like to know more about the incident at Waterstone click on the links below.

Eye Witness News Report

IOL News

 

 

When healthy exploration gets out of hand

Sad WomanAs a child I was raised fairly protected. I am the youngest of four children of which one is a very caring and protective brother. Although we grew up with a brother, us girls were never allowed to see him naked and he wasn’t allowed to see us. I know that this might not be the case for all children, but I am thankful to my parents for setting those rules. It taught me respect for my brother and more importantly, respect for myself. I knew that certain parts of the body were sacred and wasn’t to be exposed to any boy’s eyes. It kept a kind of innocence in me that I wish upon every child. That ended when I was 6 years old.

A family friend of my parents came to visit us over the Christmas holiday and she brought her two sons along with her. They were raised in a different culture to ours. They got to shower along with their mother. Sexual boundaries weren’t put in place and there were sure consequences. One evening I went to my mother’s  en suite bathroom that was hidden behind closet doors without a lock. It was late, I was tired and I didn’t think I needed to be on my guard. By the time I was already seated on the toilet, the youngest of the two boys came into the bathroom, forcefully pushed me to the back of the toilet, and started groping me. I didn’t know what hit me. I was too young to understand. All I knew was what he did was wrong. Instead of feeling used and victimized, I felt guilty so I kept it a secret in my heart for years. I knew that if I spoke up about it, I would be blamed since I was one year older than him and it happened in my parents’ home. 

As an adult I still carry scars from that seemingly innocent experience. I have once endeavored to open up my heart to a boyfriend and tell him of my experience. He laughed and said: “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine. That’s cute.  All kids do that and it’s totally normal. All children want it explore. It’s healthy.” I thought to myself: Really?! One of the most painful experiences of my life is deemed normal? Do you mean to tell me that everybody truly goes through this as a child? I knew this wasn’t true, but his comment made me feel like opening up to anyone else about this would only leave me more hurt and confused. So I shut myself up and threw away the keys. 

My question to you is this: when is abuse abuse? Where does one draw the line between ‘healthy exploration’ and sexual violation. I didn’t want to be explored. I didn’t want to be touched. Why is then that I feel to blame. Why do I feel like the fool who failed to recognize that this behaviour towards me is normal and that everyone goes through it? 

If there’s one thing that I want to shout from mountain tops it’s this: one can NEVER be too guarded when it comes to ones children. If you allow your kids to sleep over at their friends’ houses, you have to keep into consideration that their culture might be very different from yours. Your children could very possibly be exposed to things that you don’t want them to be exposed to, and they might never have the courage to tell you. Do you allow your daughters to sit on men’s laps. Has it ever occurred to you that there are pedophiles out there who can take advantage of your innocent children and you might never know about it? Do you allow your children’s cousins of the opposite sex to see your children naked. Do you allow your girls and boys to bath together, get dressed together and play naked together? You might be doing your children a bigger disservice than you can ever imagine. We are living in an age where 2nd graders are being raped. Little boys are exposed to pornography and nothing is left sacred anymore. The rape statistic in our country is high as it is, but consider that the majority of people who get raped never tell a soul, because they feel that they are to blame. That little boy, who forever changed the way I see myself, was taught by his mother that what he did was okay. So tell me: what happens when this little innocent boy gets older and starts developing? That is most likely the teenager who will rape a girl in the school dressing room, because he was taught that sexual violence against minors is acceptable. If you want to change the way our society sees sex, then you need to start in your own family. What are you exposing your children to? What are you allowing? You have more power in this than you think. It’s never too late to change the sexual culture in your family. We can change the way society sees sex, one family at a time. “

Disclaimer: this is a truthful narrative of my own experience and individual opinions. It is not a reflection of Ukankhanya’s views or opinions in any way.

More Information:

Educating Children about their bodies.

Signs of abuse in children.