Tuesday, 29 November 2016

How Domestic Violence Affects Children

Domestic violence is a form of trauma, so when children have to live with it, it is a trauma that sticks with them for the rest of their lives.

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Did you know that NICRO is a non-profit organisation committed to turning lives around? NICRO has a range of programmes that can help children who are affected by violence and are in need of help... click here to find out more, or do your part and donate today!

The effects of domestic violence change parts of their lives, like health, development and wellbeing. But how do we know if children are affected?

- They see violence against their mother / father / carer
- They hear violence happening in another room and feel the need to run or hide
- They have to be careful around the abuser to avoid angry outbursts
- They have to comfort siblings / carers who have been the victim of domestic violence
- They are victimised for taking sides
- They are encouraged to join in and participate in verbal abuse
- They are not cared for properly as their carer is not able to or their mental health does not allow them too
- They are abused too
- They are traumatised and scared of the attacker, even more so by the fact that they have to make contact with them frequently

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Domestic violence can affect children in a number of different ways, here’s how it can affect them...

Development: Because of the constant violence, a child’s development is affected. They may start to act out and even start acting immature, this is often caused by their desire to be at a stage in their lives where they felt safe.

Behaviour: A child affected by domestic violence will act out, show aggression, and become hostile towards people. Just because children show these behaviours does not mean they have a disorder, it means they have been severely traumatised. Drug and alcohol abuse can also become a problem.

Relationships: Children may not spend a lot of time at home, and try find another secure place to be as their home feels unsafe. They will also struggle with being close to people and will push them away.

Emotions: Violence can affect children emotionally and physically. They will feel stressed out, worried, angry, sad, scared and anxious most of the time.

Health: Sickness can be attached to domestic violence. Headaches and stomach aches may become an everyday thing because of the constant yelling and feelings of stress and anxiety. Sleep disturbances, like nightmares and bedwetting can also come up.

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Understanding that domestic violence causes trauma in a young child’s life is the first step to understanding and helping the children affected.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Virtual Reality Simulation Shows the Dangers of Drunk Driving

Every year thousands of people die in drunken driving accidents, and thousands more are injured. This short VR video shows exactly what it looks like.

We all know the popular alcohol brands – Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff – Well, the creator decided to release a VR video on Facebook 360, Youtube 360, Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and the HTC Vive.

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So what happens in the video? There are three cars involved, one with a business woman inside, another with three friends going to a party and the last with new parents. Everything comes to a horrifying end when one driver makes a stupid decision to try pass a car in a no-passing zone.

The drunk driver is faced with an oncoming car and then swerves back into the other lane, hitting another car in the process. You will have to watch the VR video to find out what happens next...

It’s not clear if this simulation relates to everyone and actually works to scare people out of driving drunk, but studies showed that it changed majority of the viewer’s attitude after watching it.

Watch the VR video here...

Don't drink and drive this festive season - stay safe and drive responsibility!

NICRO is committed to turning lives around, contact NICRO today for a variety of programmes and services that aimed to help those in need. Try the Road Offenses Panel Programme designed specifically to improve awareness of the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence, as well as reckless and negligent driving.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Changing offender behaviour is key to reducing crime!

A recent Cape Times interview with Tracy Van der Westhuizen, an inmate serving time at Pollsmoor Prison for fraud, highlights the efforts by this female inmate to change her life around. Although she still has some time to go before potential release on parole, she is taking tangible steps towards rehabilitation. Her full rehabilitation can of course only be tested once she is free and facing the temptations that life in open society will bring. But she is well on the road to recovery and regaining her dignity.

South Africa has 242 prisons housing some 160,000 inmates, with an admission rate of approximately 25,000 and a monthly average of 23,000 releases. As Van der Westhuizen highlights, many of those admitted to prison have committed crime before, making support services during and post incarceration crucial.

Re-offending and recidivism are vexed questions – there is no direct research or analysis that gives us a plausible rate of recidivism in South Africa. Anecdotally it is said to be extremely high – with references to as high as 70%. What we do know is that many former prison inmates return to prison as a result of further convictions. NICRO’s experience with reintegration work demonstrates that often imprisonment acts as a ‘revolving door’ or as ‘universities of crime’ and that, notwithstanding the efforts of the Correctional authorities, not all inmates are rehabilitated.

It is for this reason that Tracy’s story is inspiring. Her story indicates that rehabilitation is a multi layered journey – inmates require psychological transformation – focusing on their emotional and cognitive functioning, as well as education and skills training. A different way of thinking, and an opportunity to work, is part of the ‘rehabilitation recipe’.

Tracy’s story also indicates another crucial factor in rehabilitation – and that is the support and love of family…. the confidence and love of her husband and children, and the amazing insight of her young daughter, provides her with the inspiration and incentive to do the difficult work of rehabilitation.

Prison is not an easy life – “it is not for sissies” –one has to develop strong coping skills to survive prison! Ironically these coping skills are the ones that will help you make it in open society.

National non-profit organisation, NICRO, is working successfully with incarcerated and released offenders to change behaviour and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

NICRO has no doubt that perpetrators can change, and we are working hard to support inmates and released offenders to successfully reintegrate into society and turn away from crime.”

Chief Executive Director Soraya Solomon says “NICRO provides a range of tried and tested behavior change programmes and is facilitating successful social reintegration, which includes working with the offender’s family members. NICRO believes these services are crucial to achieving the goal of turning lives around and reducing recidivism.”

Society can assist in prisoner rehabilitation by supporting the efforts of former inmates to earn a living and become functioning members of their communities.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

How can you Prevent Sexual Assault?

Every single one of us has the ability to look out for each other. Even the small things count, like giving someone a lift home from a party or standing up to someone who is behaving in a threatening way - anyone can help prevent sexual assault, even you!

What is a bystander?

A person who is present when an event, such as a sexual assault, takes place, but isn't involved is called a bystander. 

On average there are only 42,596 rapes reported in South Africa in 2015/16, which means that for every 100,000 people in the country there were 77 rapes reported. The majority of these crimes are committed by someone the victim knows.

This is why it is so important to realise that bystanders can play a part in preventing crimes like sexual violence.

What can you do to prevent sexual assault?

Have you ever heard of the term "bystander intervention"? This is when someone who isn't directly involved in the situation intervenes and tries to help. If you have the chance to step in and give the victim the chance to escape, do it. It really doesn't take much to make a big difference in someones life.

Choosing to step in can change the way those around you think, even if you are simply trying to help a friend who has had too much alcohol or one who is offended by a sexually offensive joke. 

So, why don't people help more often?

Well, it’s not always easy to step in, even if you know it’s the right thing to do. Some common reasons bystanders remain on the sidelines include:

Image result“I don’t know what to do or what to say.”

“I don’t want to cause a scene.”

“It’s not my business.”

“I don’t want my friend to be mad at me.”

“I’m sure someone else will step in.”

It is alright for you to have these reasons for not stepping in, but it is also important to keep in mind that what you do to help can have a big impact. In most situations you could stop a serious crime, such as sexual assault.

Your actions matter 

Whether or not you were able to change the outcome of the situation, by stepping in you are helping to change the way people think about their roles in preventing sexual violence. If you suspect that someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are steps you can take to support that person.

Help someone you care about by introducing them to NICRO. At NICRO, they offer a variety of helpful programmes, such as the Perpetrator of Interpersonal Violence Programme and intensive therapy.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Violence against Women and Children

It is essential that we join as a nation and find a way to make our homes and communities safe for everyone, most of all - woman and children!

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Physical, sexual, psychological, economical. These are all forms of violence against women. Violence against women violates human rights and essentially has serious results for women and for the community.

Studies show that violence against women and children is still a popular occurance that is often never reported or simply ignored. Victims of the violence are not properly supported by the law or public services. 

Insufficient specialised services for women and children who are victims of violence and the absence of professional services to victims is only a few of the reasons for non-reporting.

What can you do to help?

NICRO has a wide variety of services, including individual counselling, intensive therapy, adult life skills and even a Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES). NICRO is focused on helping others and turning lives around – contact NICRO today!