Tag Archives: child trauma

Websites of interest

Announcement animation

National Child Traumatic Stress Network http://www.nctsn.org/ – Secondary traumatic stress: On this new webpage you will find resources related to secondary traumatic stress and links to a wide range of documents, programs, and materials that can be used by individuals and organisations to create secondary traumatic stress-informed responses to indirect trauma expo-sure. [Source: NCTSN].

Trust Fund for Victims: http://www.trustfundforvictims.org/ – This global movement to end impunity and promote justice aims to implement Court-ordered reparations; and provide physical and psychosocial rehabilitation or material support to victims of crimes within the jursidiction of the ICC. [Source: WUNRN].

The Men’s Story Project: http://www.mensstoryproject.org/ – This initiative aims strengthen social norms that support healthy masculinities and gender equality, and to help eliminate gender-based violence, homophobia and other oppressions that are intertwined with masculinities, through men´s public story-sharing events, documentary films and other mass media. [Source: Prevent-Connect].

Violence against deaf women: http://youtu.be/hi9NUoZmulU – Effect of partner hearing status. Anderson M.L, Kobek Pezzarossi C.M. J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ, ePub, 2013: This article investigates the prevalence, correlates, and characteristics of intimate partner violence victimization in hearing-Deaf and Deaf-Deaf relationships. [Source: MedAdvocates].

Early maladaptive schemas in convicted sexual offenders:
Preliminary findings. Carvalho J, Nobre P.J. Int. J. Law Psychiatry, ePub, 2013: This article explores the relationship between early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) and sexual offending, as well as how rapists and child sex molesters differ in terms of these schemas. [Source: SafetyLit].

Rape Crisis is now on MixIt

Announcement animation

Here is the link to Rape Crisis MixIt application.


Please pass the message on to those who might need this service.

Are you a survivor of domestic violence or gender based violence?


If you are a survivor of domestic violence or gender based violence, we would appreciate you answering the following three questions, please.

The information will be used to prepare a presentation for a Women’s Day afternoon tea for a church group and under no circumstances will your name be mentioned.

Reflecting on your situation you have survived, how would you answer these questions?

1) As a survivor of domestic violence/gender based violence, what are you thankful for?

2) What support would you have liked from your community while you were going through your situation?

3) How important would support from your church have been and what would you have liked your Rector/Pastor to do for you to help you?

Thank you for your willingness to assist us with this information

Re-thinking gender and crime

Questions (Blackboard)

Are our notions of gender, race and class influenced by how society defines crime and how offenders commit crimes and are treated for their actions?

What do you think?

Looking forward to your responses to this question.

The Cycle of Violence

Violence Wheel

 Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)

Tension Building Abuser starts to get angry
 Abuse may begin
 There is a breakdown of communication
 Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
 Tension becomes too much
 Victim feels like they are ‘walking on egg shells’

 Abuser may apologize for abuse
 Abuser may promise it will never happen again
 Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
 Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims
 Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
 Physical abuse may not be taking place
 Promises made during ‘making-up’ may be met
 Victim may hope that the abuse is over
 Abuser may give gifts to victim

The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete.

It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the ‘making-up’ and ‘calm’ stages disappear.

Adapted from the original concept of: Walker, Lenore. The Battered Woman. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.

What Can I Do To Be Safe?

Call the police

If you feel you are in danger from your abuser at any time, you can call 10111 or your local police.

Consider the following:
 If you are in danger when the police come, they can protect you.
 They can help you and your children leave your home safely.
 They can arrest your abuser when they have enough proof that you have been abused.
 They can arrest your abuser if a personal Protection Order has been violated.
 When the police come, tell them everything the abuser did that made you call.
 If you have been hit, tell the police where. Tell them how many times it happened. Show them any marks left on your body.

Marks may take time to show up. If you see a mark after the police leave, call the police to take pictures of the marks. They may be used in court. While waiting for the police, get someone to take pictures of your bruises for you. Use your cell phone if necessary.
 If your abuser has broken any property, show the police.
 The police can give you information on domestic violence programs and shelters.
 The police must make a report saying what happened to you. Police reports can be used in court if your abuser is charged with a crime.
 Get the officers’ names, badge numbers, and the report number in case you need a copy of the report.
 A police report can be used to help you get a Protection Order.

Get support from friends and family
Tell your supportive family, friends and co-workers what has happened.

Find a safe place
It is not fair. You should not have to leave your home because of what your abuser has done. But sometimes it is the only way you will be safe. There are shelters that can help you move to a different city or state. HAVEN can put you in touch with them.

Get medical help
If you have been hurt, go to the hospital or your doctor. Domestic violence advocates (Social Workers) may be called to the hospital.

They are there to give you support. You may ask medical staff to call one for you.

Medical records can be important in court cases. They can also help you get a Protection Order. Give all the information about your injuries and who hurt you that you feel safe to give.

Special medical concerns
 Sometimes you may not even know you are hurt.
 What seems like a small injury could be a big one.
 If you are pregnant and you were hit in your stomach, tell the doctor. Many abusers hurt unborn children.
 Domestic violence victims can be in danger of closed head injuries. This is because their abusers often hit them in the head.

If any of these things happen after a hit to the head, get medical care right away.
* Memory loss
* Dizziness
* Problems with eyesight
* Throwing-up
* Headache that will not go away

Get a personal protection order

Make a safety plan
Plan what to do before or when you feel unsafe. We can provide you with a template which you can use to compile your own Safety Plan. E-mail us and request a copy at womendemanddignity5@gmail.com.
Source: http://www.domesticviolence.org

Once Upon a Time . . .

Ancient Castle

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful little girl . . .

The little girl grew up, met her prince, fell hopelessly in love, they got married and lived happily ever after – or did they?

What rape survivors need

Pooh and his duck

How well do you LISTEN? When someone wants to speak to you about something really important to them, do you actually listen or are you just hearing what they are saying?

Active listening takes effort and concentration. When someone wants to share an experience with you, they are putting a lot of trust in you.

Sometimes it is difficult to be a good listener because what you are being told, may bring up strong emotions in yourself. Your own inner voice may drown out what the other person is saying because you are shocked, hurt or unsure of what to say. You need to try to understand your own emotions – you will be able to concentrate more on the other person once you understand your own reactions.

There is a poem I heard many years ago that made a huge impact on me and I’ve never forgotten it. When someone wants to share an experience with me, some of the words of this poem spring to mind and I try to apply them by focussing only on the person sharing with me and I try to REALLY LISTEN!

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen.
Don’t talk or do – just hear me.

Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. And I can do for myself; I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.

Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.

Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people – because God is mute, and he doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.

So please listen, and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute
for your turn – and I will listen to you.

Author Unknown

Breaking the Silence


Zama Ndlovu review of Redi book



Zama Ndlovu’s definitive review of Redi Thlabi’s groundbreaking memoir, Endings and Beginnings (Jacana) describes how this brave broadcaster and columnist has not just broken the silence that normally surrounds and protects sexual abusers of children and women in South Africa, but also explained why this silence is so widespread here, and where it’s sources lie in our culture and history.


This book does not just enlighten, it forces the reader to question the silence as never before and to  think of constructive action.

Sadly, this was Zama Ndlovu’s  last but one column in The Times.