On arrival at the Kidz Clinics, children are made to feel safe and comfortable, and are taken to a playroom filled with toys, games and videos to alleviate their fears. An intake social worker will complete the necessary forms, and prepare the child for the medical examination to follow.
Our qualified doctor and nurse, who monitor the child constantly and use comforting objects to calm and reassure their charges, then conduct a complete medical examination.
A Colposcope is used to ensure that physical examinations of sexually abused children are far less invasive than they were in the past. This sophisticated device is used to capture highly magnified photographs of the genitals of sexually abused children, as well as any other injuries, for use as evidence in a court of law.
Where sexual abuse is suspected, the doctor will conduct tests for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
After the medical examination, a therapist then psychologically assesses the child. The child may answer questions by either acting out the abusive scenario with the help of anatomically correct dolls, or through therapeutic drawing.
This assessment will corroborate the doctor’s findings, which inevitably strengthen the case and sets the groundwork for weekly follow-up therapy sessions.
Non-abusive parents of children who have been abused are also offered a free therapy service. This is beneficial in reconstructing the family unit, and creates a healthier environment for all.
Many abused children are required to give evidence in a court of law. This experience can be very traumatic for an already traumatised child. At the Kidz Clinic court preparation officers prepare children for this process. Another outstanding feature of the Kidz Clinic in Boksburg is a replica of a real-life courtroom, where abused children are introduced to court procedure in a non-threatening manner, and taught what will be expected of them.
THROUGH THE KIDZ CLINICS WE AIM TO
- Continue to offer the traumatised, abused child and his/her non-abusive family a free, comprehensive treatment programme at a one-stop facility
- Reduce the fear and anxiety synonymous with abuse, and promote the healing process in a child-friendly environment
- Break the complex cycle of abuse through intensive therapy sessions
- Prepare children for court procedure in a non-threatening manner
- Assist the criminal justice system in bringing offenders to book
Children are routinely referred to the Kidz Clinics by the following institutions and children’s establishments, as well as private individuals:
- The South African Police Services
- Child Welfare Societies
- The Department of Education
- Children's Homes
- Schools and pre-schools
- Individual family members, neighbours and family friends
The Department of Education, together with individual schools, refers a significant number of cases to the Kidz Clinic. Inclusion Specialist for the Department of Education, Tinka Labuschagne, says that it would be impossible for her to perform her role without the Kidz Clinics, and the growing number of abused children would simply “fall through the cracks” without Women and Men Against Child Abuse's comprehensive facilities.
Due to the lack of existing facilities, the Kidz Clinic serves disadvantaged children from areas extending well beyond Alexandra, the East Rand and Orange Farm. The SAPS, for example, refer cases from as far afield as Benoni, Brakpan and Midrand. The Kathorus Child Protection Unit refers cases from Tembisa, Vosloorus, Katlehong and Heidelberg. At the Orange Farm clinic we see cases referred from Soweto, Sebokeng and Vereeniging.
The SAPS Child Protection Units estimate that only one in 15 child rapes are reported, with about 160,000 rapes committed annually against children aged under 18.
In view of this fact, we see the growing number of cases seen at the clinic each year as a positive sign, indicating a breaking of the silence surrounding the abuse of children.
Provincial Co-ordinator, Superintendent Andre Neethling, is on record as saying that the Kidz Clinics are the preferred choice of the SAPS for the following reasons:
- Receiving and managing children in a child-friendly environment
- The comprehensive treatment provided, including forensic medical examinations, free of charge
- Victim safety & easy accessibility of the clinics
- Excellent case management
- Kidz Clinic Doctors and Social Workers are experienced witnesses in court, often resulting in successful convictions
PowerPoint Chart of our Kidz Clinic Services