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Title: Children's understanding of domestic violence
Authors: Bowker, Chantal Ann
Keywords: Domestic violence
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine children’s understanding of domestic violence. Children’s understanding encompasses their knowledge and perceptions of domestic violence as well as their attitude towards such violence. Three hundred (300) grade six and grade seven learners ranging in age from 11 to 16 years participated in the study. The participants included 150 girls and 150 boys. The average age of the female participants was 11 to 12 years and of the male participants the average age was 13 to 14 years. The participants resided in the Capricorn district of the Limpopo province. Participants were chosen from three regions, namely a township, city and village or farm area. A questionnaire designed by the University of Limpopo Psychology Department in conjunction with Childline Limpopo was administered to the participants. The questionnaire formed part of a broader research on children’s issues in schools. Areas covered in the questionnaire included biographical data, issues around self esteem, children’s rights, child abuse, domestic violence, gender roles and AIDS knowledge. The present study vii made use of the biographical data as well as data obtained from the domestic violence section of the questionnaire. Results indicated that 92% of participants in the sample had exposure to the concept domestic violence although only 37.3% had intimate knowledge of domestic violence victims. The source of greatest exposure to the concept was the school environment. Knowledge of domestic violence victims had a significant influence on children’s attitude towards conflict and violence. The majority of the sample did not condone violence and men were perceived as holding more violent attributes than women. The gender of the participant held no significant influence on the results. Geographic location appeared to influence responses to statements with significant differences noted by the township sample. Results of the study highlight a need to raise awareness and dispel myths regarding domestic violence. Programmes aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence should be implemented at a school level, as this is where most children are exposed to the concept. Greater awareness of organisations offering information and support to victims of violence is necessary.
Description: Thesis (M.A.) (Clinical Psychology) --University of Limpopo, 2007
Appears in Collections:Theses and Dissertations (Psychology)

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