<![CDATA[Our Time to STOP - Walking the Line]]>Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:48:01 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The art of the drunk drive]]>Fri, 15 Jan 2016 23:00:01 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/the-art-of-the-drunk-drive
Alcohol may have many functions in society, including important cultural, religious and symbolic meanings in most countries.  Alcohol still remains a drug with many toxic effects and carries with it other dangers including intoxication and dependence. 

​The results of alcohol ingestion include general impairment following an immediate depressing or stimulating effect on the brain. This in turn increases the likelihood of a vehicle crash following: 
  • poor judgement
  • increased reaction time
  • lower vigilance
  • decreased visual acuity

​Even at low levels, alcohol can impair judgement and increase a vehicle crash risk, with effects becoming progressively worse as the blood concentration increases.

Alcohol and the risk of a crash
Apart from the direct impact on crash outcomes (when considering factors such as increased reaction time, visual acuity and poor judgement), alcohol is believed to affect other aspects of driver safety including: 
  • Seat-belt compliance
  • Helmet use
  • Speed choice 
  • The use of other drugs following the tendency of alcohol to reduce inhibitions
Alcohol impairment significantly effects the risk of drivers, riders and pedestrians, and has been reported to be the most serious contributing factor to road crashes within motorized countries. Drivers who have been drinking consistently show a higher risk of involvement in crashes when compared to those who have not been drinking, with the risk increasing rapidly with an increase in rising blood alcohol concentration.  

​A motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.05g/100ml is 40 times more likely to be involved in a collision when compared to a motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration of zero.

The post-crash effects of alcohol 
Alcohol intoxication complicates the assessment and management of patients. The effects of alcohol may mimic a head injury, and may predispose a patient to more severe injuries. Intoxicated patients may not report pain or tenderness, and alcohol may interact with other medications (particularly those medications used for pain relief and sedation), whilst complicating surgery. 
Alcohol exacerbates underlying diseases. A patient who has alcohol problems may have underlying medical and/or psychiatric conditions which may complicate their management. Pre-existing conditions such as cardiac disease may be exacerbated.
Alcohol increases recidivism. Patients who are alcohol positive at the time of injury are at a greater risk of re-injury or additional injury. Drunk drivers may repeatedly re-offend.
Alcohol complicates outcome. Intoxicated patients are at a higher risk of sustaining a complication during the recovery phase, such as pneumonia. 

Demographic charactoristics of the drunk driver

  • Male
  • Aged 18 - 24 years old
  • Low socio-economic grouping
  • Single or divorced
  •  Blue collar occupation
  • Low education and limited literacy
  • Low self-esteem

​Those at high risk of drunk-driving include: drivers and motorcyclists with any blood alcohol content greater than zero, inexperienced young adults, young adults (20- 29 years of age), teenage drivers and teenage drivers carrying two or more passengers. 
- International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision. Geneva, World Health Organization
Alcohol consumption by drivers puts pedestrians and motorbike riders at high risk
Crashes involving drinking and driving often exhibit similar characteristics: 
A single vehicle that crashes at high speed: drunk-driving crashes often involve a single vehicle that has run off the road at a high speed. Many of these incidents result in the vehicle colliding with a stationary object such as a tree or fence post. 
Night and/or weekend crashes: Accidents happen more frequently at night and generally over weekends or periods of high leisure activity. 
There is an increased severity of injury: this may be attributed to the amount of alcohol present in the blood of a crash victim and how it limits the extent and level of recovery from injury. 

The pedestrian 

​Pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be involved in a collision:
  • During hours of darkness
  • In a business or commercial area
  • On a road with a speed limit greater than 50km/hr
  • At a mid-block location
  • As a result of disobying traffic laws
- Wilson RJ, Fang MR. Alcohol and drug impaired pedestrians killed or injured in motor vehicle collisions. 

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<![CDATA[The extent and nature of sexual violence]]>Sat, 12 Dec 2015 20:30:02 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/the-extent-and-nature-of-sexual-violenceAlthough the SAPS (South African Police Service) provides figures for some of the sexual offences occurring each year, workplaces and educational institutions are not compelled to report on their internal disciplinary proceedings.  Picture

Rape Homicide: Rape at it's most lethal culminates in murder. The prevalence of sexual assault in murdered females under the age of 18 is as high as 25% (as opposed to 1,5% of males).  

​Rape: An analysis of 2 068 rape cases reported in Gauteng during 2003 showed that females under the age of 12 are especially likely to be raped by someone known to them. 84% of perpetrators where either relatives, friends or neighbors.  

Almost one in five (18.8%) woman report being raped by a current or former intimate male partner
-S Mathews et al, The epidemiology of child homicides in South Africa, Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 91, 2013, 562–568. 

​The issue of forced sex:

31.1% of rape victims have had an experience of forced sex. 
  • 14.9% men only
  • 6.6% women only
  • 9.6% both men and woman  

Rape and the law
Myths and stereotypes surrounding rape and rape victims help to complicate law and policy implementation and may considerably worsen the plight of victims of sexual offences. 
Often, the harm resulting from an incident of rape or sexual assault may be down played, with victims carrying the burden of blame for the occurrence of such events. Consequently, society may be unsympathetic, disbelieving and in general may have an inappropriate response to victims. This may also be seen through out the stages of the criminal justice process. A survey carried out at 31 health facilities catering for rape victims around South Africa  showed that one in three health practitioners (32,6%) do not consider rape to be a serious medical condition. 
Such factors contribute to the low conviction rate for rape in South Africa. A recent Gauteng study investigating the progression of rape cases from reporting to sentencing explains that of the 2 068 dockets opened, half resulted in arrests (50.5%) but only 42.8% of the alleged offenders were charged in court. There was a total conviction rate of 6.2% and as some of the convictions where for lesser charges, only 4.1% of cases reported as rape resulted in convictions for rape. (Those convicted of rape may stand to receive the minimum sentences mandated by law including a mandated 10 years minimum sentence or the possibility of  life imprisonment, but such sentencing is seldom carried out.)
-Vetten, R Jewkes, R Fuller, N Christofides, L Loots and O Dunseith, Tracking Justice: The attrition of rape cases through the criminal justice system in Gauteng, Johannesburg: Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, South African Medical Research Council and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, 2008. 
As a result, an overwhelming majority of sexual offenders are never held to account for their actions.

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<![CDATA[The role of the internet]]>Fri, 06 Nov 2015 07:41:54 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/the-role-of-the-internet

​The internet helps to promote child pornography by increasing the amount of material available, the efficiency of its distribution, and the ease of its accessibility
Specifically, the internet may:
  • permit access to vast quantities of pornographic images from around the world
  • allows pornography to be accessed anonymously and privately
  • facilitates direct communication and image sharing among users
  • provides images that are of high digital quality, do not deteriorate, and can be conveniently stored
  • provides for a variety of formats (pictures, videos, sound), as well as the potential for real-time and interactive experiences
  • permits access to digital images that have been modified to create composite or virtual images 
  • makes pornography instantly available at any time or place
- Wang, J., J. Li, G. Wiederhold, and O. Firschein (1998). “System for Screening Objectionable Images.” Computer Communications 21:1355–1360.

Challenges in controlling internet based child pornography
The structure of the internet: 
​The internet is decentralized and has no single controlling agency or storage facility.  Due to the nature of networks and networks connecting to other networks, when one pathway is blocked, an alternative pathway may be provided allowing one to reach the desired destination. Similarly, if one website or newsgroup is closed down, there are many others that can instantaneously take its place.
The lack of regulation:
Many jurisdictions are reluctant to introduce laws that might help control internet users, despite the inherently unregulated nature of the internet. For the most part, legal obligations with respect to internet child pornography often remain unclear, and the majority of emphasis has been placed on self regulation.   
The differences in legislation: 
Although there have been attempts to regulate the internet, such efforts have been hampered by cross-jurisdictional differences in laws and levels of permissiveness regarding child pornography. Due to cultural reasons or because of corruption, many countries vary in their commitment to act upon and enforce laws against offenders. 
The experience of the offenders: 
Offenders often vary in the manner which they employ means and security measures to avoid detection. There is reportedly a core of veteran offenders, some of whom have been active in pedophile newsgroups for more than 20 years, who possess high levels of technological expertise. Pedophile bulletin boards often contain technical advice from old hands to newcomers. 
The volume of internet activity: 
The actual volume of child pornography makes the task of tracking down every person who visits a child pornography site impossible. Many offenders realize that their chances of being caught are quiet remote. Catching peripheral offenders or disrupting individual networks may have little overall impact considering the scale of the problem. 
- Williams, K. (2003). “Controlling Internet Child Pornography, Protecting the Child.” Information & Communications Technology Law 12(1):3–24. 

Methods of distribution:
  • Web Pages and Websites
  • Webcams
  • Email
  • E Groups
  • News Groups
  • Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)
  • Chat Rooms
  • Peer to Peer (P2P)

Report child pornography via the Fpb hotline

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<![CDATA[The cycle of domestic abuse]]>Sun, 11 Oct 2015 07:00:01 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/the-cycle-of-domestic-abuse
The abusive partner exhibits aggressive, belittling or violent behaviors intended to show the victim who is in control. 

After performing acts of abuse, the abuser feels guilt. This feeling of guilt is not caused by what has been done or said, but rather due to the potential consequences of being exposed as an abuser. 

The abuser rationalizes their actions and behavior and may come up with multiple excuses for their actions. The abuser avoids taking responsibility for their actions.  
'Normal Behavior
The abuser does everything they can to maintain the abused in the relationship and maintain control. They may act as if nothing has happened and can be quiet charming during this 'honeymoon phase". This may in turn give the abused a false sense of hope that the abuser has changed their ways. 

The abuser begins to fantasize about further abuse and spends many hours thinking about what the abused has done wrong and how they will pay for their wrong doings.  A plan is then made to turn the fantasy of abuse into a reality.

The abuser then puts his plan into motion and creates a situation where in acts of abuse are " justifiable". 

...and the cycle of abuse continues...
- Breaking the silence. A handbook for victims of domestic violence. Nebraska Network for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs

Abusers may manipulate and exert their power in the following ways: 

  • Dominance – Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his or her possession.

  • Humiliation – An abuser will do everything he or she can to make you feel bad about yourself or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

  • Isolation – In order to increase your dependence on him or her, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He or she may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

  • Threats – Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He or she may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

  • Intimidation – Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.

  • Denial and blame – Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abusive partner may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He or she will commonly shift the responsibility on to you: Somehow, his or her violent and abusive behavior is your fault.
- Borrowed from: HELPGUIDE.ORG Domestic Violence and abuse
10 Warning signs of an Abusive relationship: 

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<![CDATA[A safe journey?]]>Fri, 11 Sep 2015 07:30:01 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/a-safe-journeyOver and above the violence associated with the regulation of minibus taxi industry, there are more than 10 000 deaths on South African roads per year, with the minibus taxi industry being responsible for a large proportion of these fatal crashes. A study performed by the Automobile Association of South Africa recorded a total of 70 000 minibus crashes, indicating that these taxi's are responsible for twice the rate of crashes than all other passenger vehicles.   However, these vehicles spend a far greater amount of time and travel a greater distance than the average vehicle. 

Contributing factors to to these high crash statistics include:

Overloading:  When a vehicle is overloaded, and the seating capacity exceeded, all occupants are placed at risk. Not only is the stopping power of the vehicle dramatically reduced, but the center of gravity may be altered, making the vehicle less controllable under certain conditions. 

Blown Tyre:  The condition of a tyre is related to its physical performance and over all integrity. A tyre demands a daily inspection to ensure there are no breakes or tears, which could result in a blow out at relatively low speeds. 

Faulty lights: The vehicle lights allow fellow road user one's current and desired movements whilst driving.  They serve as a means of understanding fellow road users movements and may give warnings of dangers ahead as experienced by other motorists. 

Faulty Brakes: When the stopping power of a vehicle is reduced due to mechanical errors in the braking system, the potential for collisions at both high and low speeds is exponentially increased. 
It is worthwhile to remember that the link between the driver and the braking system is the most important part of the brake pedal. 

Worn tread: The tread on a tyre aids in the disruption of water from the road -and tyre surface during wet conditions. The tread on a tyre helps to create the surface area required for the tyre to contact the road, and thus relates to the ability to maneuver the tyre across a broad spectrum of retain and weather conditions. 
- National Department Of Transport. Statistics 2013
- Towards a safer minbus taxi industry in South Africa.

Would you make use of these taxi's? 

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<![CDATA[My part]]>Sat, 01 Aug 2015 17:00:55 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/my-part
Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Get to know your local SPCA and affiliated organizations. Many organisations have websites on which you are able to report an act of abuse anonymously.
Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By having an awareness of the current state of animals in your immediate surroundings, noticing any cases of suspected abuse would be more easily noticed. 
Make the call. If you notice or suspect a case of abuse, be sure to report it. The cycle of abuse can only be broken if it is reported and acted on. Remember that animals cannot speak for themselves and rely on you!

Provide as much detail as possible when reported suspected cases of animal abuse. It helps to write down details of the incident, and pay specific attention to the type of cruelty witnessed, who was involved and the date  and time of the incident.

Contact your local police department.  Animal cruelty is a CRIME—and the police MUST investigate these crimes.

Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it's more than just food, water, and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring them to the vet. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. 

Talk to your kids and teach them how to respect and look after animals.  Children are able to understand that animals are living creatures who have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness. They are receptive to new ideas and often take well to the responsibility of having a pet. Children will learn from example, be sure to teach them how to care for and respect all members of the family. 

Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. This could be a great way to make a difference. Many shelter need dog walkers, or volunteers for simple tasks. Maybe your child's school would like to be involved with a charity of this nature?

Utilize the Neighborhood Watch Program or create one if it does not exist. Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. They will often give an early indication of criminal activity on you property and serve as a good alarm system. Keep an eye out for the pets in your neighborhood. 

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<![CDATA[Prevention is better than cure]]>Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:15:24 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/prevention-is-better-than-cure

There are 3 action steps enabling one to help prevent Elder Abuse and Neglect: 

  1. Listen to seniors and their caregivers
  2. Intervening when you suspect elder abuse
  3. Educating others about how to recognize and report elder abuse

Listen: Sometimes all it takes is a sympathetic ear and some time. Although only a small percentage of the elderly will report abusive situations, fostering a relationship based on trust and understanding is more likely to help expose any unsavory situations. 

Intervening when Elder abuse is suspected: is an absolutely essential step. The cycle of abuse will continue until it is exposed and addressed, as the elderly are perceived as soft targets and may often be reliant on their abuser. 

The AEASA (Action on Elder Abuse South Africa) may be reached by phone or via email as follows: 

Land Line:   021 426 5526
Email:   elderabuse.co.za

Educating others about how to recognize and report elder abuse: Abuse of the elderly may extend further than your own environment, and a single abuser may abuse several elderly people. It is essential to help others recognize the pattern of abuse as well as describing an appropriate means of reporting it. 
- The Shocking Truth about Elder Abuse and Neglect. Carrol Purray 2013

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<![CDATA[And the violence?]]>Sun, 31 May 2015 14:17:06 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/and-the-violence
A briefing paper on violence from CPLO listed eight different points of concern for xenophobic attacks:

  1. Competition for resources
  2. Criminality and opportunism
  3. Inadequate intelligence
  4. Inefficient procedures at the Department of Home Affairs
  5. A culture of violence
  6. Lack of leadership
  7. The international pervasiveness of xenophobia 
  8. The failure of security forces to quell the violence

- Li Jianmin. "News Analysis: What is behind xenophobia in S. Africa." The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. 2008
Of the many reasons causing the violence, South African experts agree the underlying factor was the desperation felt by the very poor: "faced with the problem of service delivery, some South Africans reacted to the perceived competition from foreigners over resources", despite many studies showing that immigrants are job creators. Foreigners form a convenient scapegoat for all the ills being experienced by those at the margins of society.    

Xenophobia is not isolated, but rather may be seen as a response to unemployment, poverty, crime and a lack of trust in the justice system. 
Some of the attacks have been committed due the perception that foreigners have criminal ties or are members of criminal elements within a community. These attacks show the trend towards mob justice further reflecting the lack of faith South African citizens have in formal institutions, ultimately resulting in communities resorting to violence.  
The pervasiveness of xenophobic attitudes which allow such attacks to seem justifiable has been highlighted in a Afrobarometer survey in which: 

44% of South Africans disagree with the idea of providing protection to asylum seekers
45% of South Africans agreed that foreigners should not be allowed to live in SA as they take away benefits from locals 

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<![CDATA[How we can make a difference]]>Sat, 02 May 2015 14:18:12 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/how-we-can-make-a-differenceWhilst a large part of responsibility rests on the shoulders of the learners themselves and their educators, as responsible adults and parents we can assist by

  • Listening to children. 
  • If someone tells you bullying is taking place, take action to stop it. 
  • Let children know you are there to support them and you will do all you can to help them feel safe.
  •  Reassure children who are being bullied that bullying is not their fault. 
  • If someone is exhibiting bullying behavior, let that person talk about his or her experiences, and offer support in a nonjudgmental way. 
  • Be a positive role model. 
  • Set a good example, reinforce positive behavior and create constructive leadership situations. 
  • Set consequences. 
  • Make bullying unacceptable. 
  • Work with teachers to prevent and stop bullying and get involved in school bullying-prevention initiatives. 
  • Share your concerns about bullying and your ideas for preventing bullying with the school. 
  • Participate in community planning committees and know the procedure to use when bullying has occurred. 
  • Take a leadership position in preventing bullying by developing and implementing a bullying-prevention initiative at home. Monitor cellphone and Internet usage of child
- Nature, extent and impact of bullying among secondary schools in Gauteng. UNISA. Bureau of Market Research. 2012

Considering the perpetrators, factors contributing to, and effects of bullying as well as cyber bullying: 


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<![CDATA[Self harm intervention]]>Wed, 08 Apr 2015 14:18:53 GMThttp://ourtimetostop.weebly.com/walking-the-line/self-harm-intervention

Someone dies form suicide every 15 minutes and more than 395,320 were treated in hospital emergency departments for self-inflicted injuries. Suicidal behavior is something to be taken very seriously.                                                                   
                                                                                           -WHO 2014

How do we begin to recognize the risk factors for suicidal behavior
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Anxiety, agitation
  • Pulling away from friends and family
  • Past attempts
  • Extremely self hating thoughts
  • Feeling like they don't belong
  • Hopelessness
  • Rage
  • Feeling trapped
  • Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs 
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities - "nothing matters"
  • Giving up on themselves
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans or actions
  • A sudden feeling of well being
Helping a friend or family member:
ASK:  When friends or family members talk about or show warning signs of suicidal behavior, don't wait for things to get better, talk about it!! Talking helps by: 
  • Allowing you to get help
  • May help the person feel less isolated, more cared about and understood
  • Talking may help one see other solutions 
Asking a friend or family member can be incredibly difficult, SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) recommends: 

LISTEN: Listen to your friend or family member without making judgment and offer your reassurance. Don't leave them alone. 

TELL:  It is safest to get the necessary help right away. Even if you have been sworn to secrecy or feel as if you would be betraying your friend or family member, you should always seek help as soon as possible. 
-Borrowed from:http://www.sadag.org/images/pdf/teen%20suicide%20prevention.pdf 

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