Empowerment of Sexually Abused Children in South African Communities

Tasneemah Cornelissen-Nordien, Sulina Green

Medailon autorů:

Tasneemah Cornelissen-Nordien completed her PhD at Stellenbosch University and is currently working as a junior lecturer at the Department of Social Work, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She worked in the fields of child abuse prevention and sexual offences before starting an academic career at Stellenbosch University in 2009. Currently she is the year group coordinator for the practice education social work students and teaches in the undergraduate programme in the areas of the professional relationship in social work, social work group work and youth intervention.

Sulina Green, Professor Emerita, in the Department of Social Work, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and the editor of the professional journal for social workers, Maatskaplike Werk / Social Work. Her interests are in the field of social welfare policy, social development, community work and support networks for vulnerable groups.


OBJECTIVE: As child sexual abuse haunts South African communities, this paper aims to present
the nature of empowerment services rendered by the non-profit sector for child sexual abuse
in the Western Cape, South Africa. METHODS: A qualitative research approach was applied
to interview 20 participants at six non-profit organisations (NPOs) who render empowerment
services in communities haunted by child sexual abuse. OUTCOMES: Findings of the study
indicate that participants execute an empowerment approach by means of a process which entails
building relationships, determining goals, identifying strengths, developing action plans, executing
plans, attaining goals and ending relationships. The findings also indicate that sexually abused
children in South African communities are empowered with micro level intervention to deal with
the consequences of their abuse. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Service providers should
be equipped to empower sexually abused children with meso and macro level intervention in
addition to micro level intervention.

Klíčová slova:

child sexual abuse, South Africa, empowerment services

s. 93–107