Mental Health Service Provision in South Africa and Women's Sexual Violations Against Children

Xanthipi Malama, Beba, Papakyriakou
2017 unpublished
and Women's Sexual Violations Against Children" I declare that the above thesis is my own work and that all the sources that I have used or quoted have been indicated and acknowledged using complete references. Signed: X M (Beba) Papakyriakou Date 30 November 2017 (Signature appears on the duplicate Declaration held by the university) ii Abstract Mental health services in South Africa and the field of psychology are not keeping up with the changed landscape of child sexual abuse that includes
more » ... use that includes women who perpetrate these violations. New laws have not made a massive impact on out of control behaviours, while the paucity of mental health services for women who sexually violate children is a significant failing in mental health service provision. Exploratory, descriptive research approached the topic from the perspective of the psychology of healing rather than the psychology of wrongdoing. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 38 professionals in relevant fields, purposefully selected in four provinces in South Africa that revealed a lack of knowledge, resources, and funding, as well as gaps in curricula. Some practitioners were willing to work with women who sexually violate children, while others were either unwilling or reluctant to do so for various reasons. Women who sexually violate children are typically not mentally ill but could have mental disorders and lives dominated by dysfunction and trauma. Data were analysed utilising Attride-Stirling's (2001) thematic networks, while Gannon, Rose, and Ward's (2008) descriptive model of female sexual offending (DMFSO) provided the theoretical framework. Recommendations include establishing online services to aid perpetrator disclosure and therapeutic interventions, providing individual psychotherapeutic interventions to uncover more than recent trauma, directing donor funding to sex offender programmes, networking among service providers including government agencies, and training those within the mental health services environment and the criminal justice system.