African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention (ASP) is a forum for discussion and debate among scholars, policy-makers and practitioners active in the field of injury prevention and safety promotion. ASP seeks to promote research and dialogue around a central public health issue that affects Africa, namely injury and violence.


The Globethics library contains vol. 1(2002)-16(2018) no.1 - Ceased publication?

Recent Submissions

  • Relationship between symbolic violence and overt violence in hate incidents in South Africa

    Pieterse, Tanya; Stratford, Vanessa; Nel, Juan A. (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    The study reported here explored the relationship between symbolic violence and overt violence through the descriptions of hate incidents experienced in South Africa. Data were collected during a five-year longitudinal study conducted under the auspices of the Hate Crimes Working Group, using its Hate and Bias Monitoring Form and an accompanying user guide. Thematic analysis was used to create categories, themes and interpretations of hate incidents. Six primary themes emerged: i) the victim is less than human or like an animal; ii) humiliation of the victim; iii) use of extreme overkill or destruction; iv) the victim is to blame; v) messages conveyed by hate incidents; and vi) intentional unfair discrimination. These themes are discussed in relation to the existing body of literature on symbolic violence. We argue that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between symbolic violence and overt violence in hate victimisation. Symbolic violence creates a society in which hate victimisation of certain vulnerable groups becomes socially acceptable by constructing the circumstances in which overt violence could take place. Overt violence occurs when symbolic violence is no longer effective in controlling vulnerable groups, with offenders blatantly resorting to reinforce power differences between themselves and their victims. Overt violence reinforces symbolic violence by sending a message to victims directly, as well as to their larger communities, in terms of their undesirability, not belonging, and being third-class citizens. Effective violence prevention has to take this relationship into account, especially as South Africa grapples with related legislative and policy responses.Keywords: symbolic violence, hate incidents, bias; message crimes, violence, prevention
  • Symbolic violence and the invisibility of disability

    Swartz, Leslie; Hunt, Xanthe; Watermeyer, Brian; Carew, Mark; Braathen, Stine Hellum; Rohleder, Poul (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    Disability as a social justice issue is not part of mainstream talk. Approximately 15% of the world’s population has a disability, and yet persons with disabilities are systematically subjected to this sort of exclusion. If considered in terms of social power, then persons with disabilities are the largest single minority group. Amongst minorities, exclusion from the social and representational order is a forceful form of symbolic violence. Persons with disabilities are systematically subjected to this sort of exclusion. In the public domain, persons with disabilities are either not represented at all, or misrepresented. The misrepresentation of persons with disabilities takes a host of cultural forms. This paper explores a few examples of these forms, as they can be considered examples of symbolic violence. We explore how negative social value may be internalised, and how this constitutes a form of symbolic violence experienced by persons with disabilities. We argue that persons with disabilities must constantly act against subtle and blatant acts of symbolic violence – including exclusion – and that the necessity of constant resistance characterises the lives of disabled persons. We argue that it is necessary not only to recognise the detrimental effects of having to confront the symbolic violence of a society which is structured for the benefit of those with typical embodiment, but also to frame this social injustice as something which leads to very real and very dangerous exclusions.Keywords: symbolic violence, disability, sexuality, representation, exclusion
  • “I’ll show you how a real woman should act”: One woman’s experience of homophobic violence and intimidation in post-apartheid South Africa

    Gordon, Sarah Frances (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    South Africa experiences alarming levels of intimate partner violence and femicide, as well as increasing reports of homophobic violence against women. This article focuses on a qualitative study, which explored how women’s lives and identities are transformed by living in this culture of violence against women. Open-ended interviews were conducted with 27 undergraduate women students, who attended a South African University. The article draws on the interviews of one of these women, a Black African lesbian woman, Phelisa. Discourse analysis was used to analyse her interview texts. Phelisa’s story is presented as a single-case study example of homophobic violence and intimidation in a South African township. The case study highlights the various discourses associated with this violence, specifically the ‘homosexuality is un-African discourse’ and the ‘discourse of feminine transgression’.Keywords: case study, gender; homophobic violence, violence against women, South Africa, Black African women, homosexuality
  • Parents’ knowledge of car safety and practices amongst school children in an urban community of Lagos, Nigeria

    Olufunlayo, Tolulope F.; Sekoni, Adekemi O.; Bilston, Lynne E.; Onigbogi, Olanrewaju (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    No fewer than 1.2 million deaths globally are attributed to road traffic crashes yearly, with low- and middleincome countries contributing disproportionately to these deaths. Children are a vulnerable road user group, and riding unrestrained is a significant risk factor for death and injury among child car passengers. This studyaimed to determine child car safety knowledge and practices among parents of children attending a private school in an urban setting in Lagos, Nigeria. A descriptive study, using observations of child car safety practices, and a survey of parental knowledge and attitudes of child car safety, were conducted simultaneously amongst children 0-10 years riding in cars to school. Data was analysed using Epi Info Version 3.5.1. A total of 127 cars were observed as children were being dropped off at school. The proportion of child passengers aged 0 - 10 years restrained by any device was 6.3%, with only 2.4% of these children being appropriately restrained for age; 19.7% of observed child passengers rode in the front seat. Awareness of car safety seats among parents was high at 85%. However, less than 40% of respondents knew the correct age to commence use of child restraints, seat belts, or front seating. The reason most cited for non-use of child restraints was unavailability (24.1%). Despite the high level of awareness about car safety seats, parental knowledge of specific child passenger safety issues and practices were poor. Targeted interventions are needed to bridge the gap between awareness, knowledge and practice in this population.Keywords: child, motor vehicle passenger, car restraints, adults, knowledge and attitude, road safety
  • Symbolic violence: Enactments, articulations and resistances in research and beyond

    Dlamini, Sipho; Helman, Rebecca; Malherbe, Nick (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    In his pioneering work on the subject, French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (2001, p.1-2) defines symbolic violence as “a type of submission… a gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims, exerted for the most part through purely symbolic channels of communication and cognition, recognition or even feeling....”. This Special Issue of African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention seeks to reflect on the multiple ways that symbolic violence is implicated in research; how research reproduces symbolic violence; and how hierarchies within research institutions determine the ‘legitimacy’ of specific knowledges and knowledge producers. We believe that a focus on symbolic violence is necessary to advance nuanced, complex and meaningful understandings of how different kinds of violence operate and are sustained in contemporary society.
  • Reflections on the development and utility of a participatory community violence surveillance methodology

    Isobell, Deborah; Taliep, Naiema; Lazarus, Sandy; Seedat, Mohamed; Toerien, Esmeralda; James, Anna (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    The goal of this study was to illustrate the development and utility of a community violence surveillance methodology, as a component of a larger participatory violence prevention project in a low-income South African community. Using focus group discussions, data were collected from 12 community and academic researchpartners. These discussions were audio recorded, transcribed and then thematically analysed. The findings revealed that the participatory orientation to the research enabled researchers to develop an instrument that was appropriate for the community, collaboratively. The collaborative creation of the violence surveillance questionnaire and the use of community members to implement the system after intensive capacity building instilled a sense of ownership and promoted sustainability in this project. In addition, data generated by the surveillance system provided baseline and prevalence data which could be used to advocate for violence prevention and develop relevant interventions. This process also resulted in the provision of victim support through debriefing and referrals. Future research could focus on developing and implementing similar surveillance systems in communities and monitoring the effects thereof over time.Keywords: participatory, community, violence surveillance methodology
  • An interactive computer program for South African urban primary school children to learn about traffic signs and rules

    Fransman, Aubrey; Richter, Barry; Raath, Schalk (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    Road accidents significantly contribute to severe injury and death of young children. Knowledge of road safety signs and traffic rules are regarded as necessary basic knowledge to improve the safety of children in traffic situations. Resources available for the education and learning of road signs and road safety rules for learners are limited. This study assessed the effectiveness of an interactive computer program as a teaching tool to contribute to the improvement of the knowledge base of young children on road safety in South Africa. A quasiexperimental approach was employed to conduct this study. Primary school learners (n= 75) aged 11 - 12 years participated in the pilot study. Findings indicated that there was a meaningful change in the learner’s knowledge of road signs and road safety rules after participation in the program.Keywords: pedestrians, road safety rules, traffic signs, education and learning of road safety rules
  • The geographies of heteronormativity: The source of symbolic homophobic violence at a South African university

    Brown, Anthony (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    This article examines how symbolic homophobic violence is produced from hegemonic and heteronormative institutional geographies. This study forms part of a larger project with Life Orientation student-teachers that investigated the strengthening of HIV and AIDS integration in the curriculum. Five student teachers from the class cohort used photovoice to illustrate how students with same-sex sexual identities were subjected to othering, discrimination, bigotry and overt forms of violent aggression emanating from their non-conforming gender expressions. Through photovoice-narrative interviews, I found that their transgression in spatial heterosexual norms resulted in intimidation, vilification and, in extreme cases, overt forms of violence by peers. This article focused on two themes, namely the physical geographies of symbolic homophobic violence and punishment, and discipline of geographies of the non-normative gendered body. Although symbolically homophobic violence can be linked to individual resistance to same-sex sexuality, this article shows that symbolic violence is largely reproduced by the contours of heteronormativity maintained by institutional geographies. If universities are committed to inclusive and safe learning spaces for diverse identities then they will have to interrogate how hegemonic cultures mobilise discourses that enforce systemic oppression.Keywords: geographies, institutionalised heteronormativity, symbolic homophobic violence, same-sex sexualities
  • “I’m here for abusing my wife”: South African men constructing intersectional subjectivities through narratives of their violence

    Boonzaier, Floretta A.; van Niekerk, Taryn J. (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2019-01-18)
    The paper aims to explore the subjectivities men construct in their talk about their own violence toward women partners and the meaning these understandings of their violence have for the intervention programmes they attend. We take an intersectional reading of marginalised men’s narratives of their perpetration of violence against intimate women partners. Drawing on interviews with 26 participants who had been mandated into criminal justice intervention programmes in Cape Town, we attend to how their race, class, gender and location intersect to shape their understanding of their violence. We also analyse the implications that this wide-angle reading of men and their violence has for intervention programmes that mostly have been imported from Euro-American contexts. The paper offers a critique of current intervention practices with domestically violent men that focuses too heavily on gendered power alone. Furthermore, it suggests that an intersectional reading of the multiple realities of men’s lives is important for interventions that aim to end their violence against women, particularly for marginalised men who have little stake in the ‘patriarchal ’dividend’.Keywords: batterer interventions, intersectionality, intimate partner violence, narrative, domestic violence
  • Seatbelt use among university students from 26 low-, middle- and high-income countries

    Peltzer, Karl; Pengpid, Supa (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-11-16)
    The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of self-reported seatbelt use and sociodemographic, health risk behaviour and social-legal correlates among university students in 26 low-, middle- and high-income countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 16 770 undergraduate university students (mean age 20.9, SD=2.9) from 23 universities in 26 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Results indicate that the percentage of university students reporting to be inconsistently using a seatbelt were 54.7% for all countries, 56.0% for men and 53.7% for women. In multivariate logistic regression, younger age, poorer family background, living in a low-income or lower-middle-income country, having no national seatbelt law or a law that does not apply to all occupants, poor attitudes towards seatbelt use, not always following the speed limit, having depressive symptoms, drug use, and low physical activity were associated with self-reported inconsistent seatbelt use. High selfreported inconsistent seatbelt use was found and several risk factors were identified which can be utilised in seatbelt use promotion programmes.Keywords: seatbelt use, traffic-related behaviour, health risk behaviour, depression, legislation, university students, multi-country
  • Learners’ self-reports of exposure to violence in South African schools: A gendered reflection

    Taole, Matshidiso Joyce (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-11-16)
    The pervasive worldwide phenomenon of gender-based violence in schools poses a threat to education as a vehicle of economic development and economic freedom. Gender violence in and around schools is a global problem with serious implications for the educational attainment, health and wellbeing of both girls and boys. This paper explores the gendered nature of violence in selected schools in six provinces in South Africa. A qualitative study following a communitycentred, capacity-building approach used focus group interviews to collect data from a purposive sample of learners aged between 13 and 17 years who were perpetrators or victims of violence. The aim was to give voice to learners about their experiences of violence in schools. Findings indicated a high incidence of gender-based violence in schools. Boys mainly drew on genderbiased discourses to orchestrate demeaning gendered comments, sexualised gestures, sexual harassment and bullying. Teachers’ assault of learners in the form of corporal punishment was also deeply implicated in both girls’ and boys’ reports of gender-based violence. Recommendations are made for gender-based awareness campaigns, which involve learners, parents and teachers, and the setting up of school-based structures for learner peer support as critical strategies for combating gender-based violence in schools.Keywords: Femininities, masculinities, power, management, gender, school violence
  • Special Issue Editorial: Youth, violence and equality: Perspectives on engaging youth toward social transformation

    Boonzaier, F; Lehtonen, J; Pattman, R (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-25)
    No Abstract
  • Perceived childhood exposure to domestic violence: The risk for adult revictimisation

    Ryan, J; Rich, E; Roman, N.V. (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    The prevalence of domestic violence is described as pervasive with a majority of victims being females and perpetrators being males. Often females who experienced domestic violence had been previously exposed to family violence during childhood. The aim of the study was therefore to investigate the perceived childhood exposure to domestic violence as a predisposing factor for revictimisation in adulthood. The study used a quantitative approach with a cross-sectional correlation design. The sample consisted of 77 female participants from shelters across Cape Town, Western Cape. The study employed an adapted version of the Child Exposure to Domestic Violence (CEDV) Scale. The questionnaire was divided into three sections, namely demographic details, types of exposure to domestic violence the adult may have experienced as a child, and current adult experiences of domestic violence. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences V21 (SPSS). Results suggest that there is a significant positive relationship between past perceived experiences of domestic violence and present perceived experiences of domestic violence. Limitations and recommendations are stipulated for proposed intervention strategies and further study expansion on this topic.Keywords: domestic violence, childhood exposure, revictimisation, adulthood, social learning theory.
  • Empowering young people in advocacy for transformation: A photovoice exploration of safe and unsafe spaces on a university campus

    Ngabaza, S; Bojarczuk, E; Masuku, M.P.; Roelfse, R (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-25)
    Globally and locally, research conducted with young people about safety on university campuses focuses primarily on risk and danger, particularly sexual danger. In this body of scholarship, the voices of young people are often elided. Our study intends to address both of these concerns, firstly by foregrounding the voices of students themselves through a photovoice method, and secondly by emphasising the ways in which safe and unsafe spaces are mediated by group and social identities. The aim of the study was to explore how students’ perceptions of safe and unsafe places are mediated by group and social identities. A group of third-year students at an urban South African university used photovoice, a methodology that encourages participation and empowerment of young people in transforming their communities, to conduct a study identifying and photographing spaces they perceived safe and unsafe in and around campus. Narratives explained these photographs. The paper draws from this project, whose findings show that the construction of safety on campus is mediated by different factors of marginality within the student body including gender, class, citizenship and race among others. These findings are not only significant in raising concern about issues of safety on campus, but they also draw the attention of university stakeholders to these concerns, giving students a voice to be agents of transformation.Keywords: Campus safety, university students, gender, citizenship, race and class.
  • Prevalence, circumstances and consequences of non-fatal road traffi c injuries and other bodily injuries among older people in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa

    Peltzer, K; Phaswana-Mafuya, N; Arokiasamy, P; Biritwum, R; Yawson, A; Minicuci, N; Williams, J.S.; Kowal, P; Chatterji, S (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    Unintentional injuries are one of the main contributors to mortality and disability in elderly populations in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to examine the annual road traffic and other bodily (not including falls) injury prevalence and associated risk factors among older adults across six lower and upper middle-income countries. A cross- sectional survey involving face-to-face household interviews were conducted in China (n=13,177), Ghana (n=4305), India (n=6560), Mexico (n=2318), the Russian Federation (n=3938) and South Africa (n=3840), resulting in population-based cohorts of persons aged 50+ years.  Measures included questions on injury, self-rated visual difficulties, alcohol use, depression treatment, sleeping problems, self-reported health status, and vision assessment using LogMAR (logarithm of Minimum Angle of Resolution) eye charts. It comprises rows of letters and is used to measure visual acuity. Results indicate that the overall annual non-fatal road traffic injury prevalence was 2.0% and for other bodily injury 2.1% (not including falls) across the six countries. The multivariate logistic regression analysis found that residing in a rural area, taking medications or other treatment for depression in the past 12 months and having a sleeping problem were associated with road traffic injury, while younger age, residing in a rural area, hazardous or harmful alcohol use and having a sleeping problem were associated with other bodily injury. Visual impairment was not associated with prevalence of road traffic injuries. This study provides the burden of non-fatal road traffic injury and other bodily injury and their associated risk factors across the six countries’ studies. The findings of this study improves the understanding of non-fatal road traffic injury and other bodily injury upon which policy makers, programme developers and researchers in public health can design strategic interventions to reduce these preventable injuries as well as improve safety associated with unintentional injuries.Keywords: injury, traffic, ageing, China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Africa.
  • A quantitative exploration of the effects of workplace bullying on South African educators

    Jacobs, L; de Wet, C (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    This article reports on results from a quantitative exploration of the effects of workplace bullying (WPB) on school-level educators of different post levels. A convenient, voluntary sample of educators (n=999) who were upgrading their qualifications at the School of Open Learning (SOL) at the University of the Free State, South Africa was selected to complete a questionnaire on WPB. Results of this article emanate from the responses of 850 respondents who indicated that they were victims of WPB. The study reveals that the effects of WPB are psychosocial and physiological, rather than work related. The most frequent effects of WPB are headaches, extreme sadness when recalling the antagonistic behaviour, fatigue and stress. The study emphasises the vulnerability of male victims of WPB, as well as victims who occupy managerial positions. The results indicate that age has little influence on the way victims are affected by WPB. The study highlights the need for the development of anti-WPB policies in South Africa, as well as the creation of structures to cater for the psychosocial and psychological needs of educator victims of WPB.Keywords: educators, mobbing, schools, South Africa, teachers, workplace bullying.
  • Young lesbian and bisexual women resisting discrimination and negotiating safety: A photovoice study

    Boonzaier, F; Zway, M (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-25)
    With the increasing focus on the problem of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa, representations of black lesbian women have largely become about victimhood. The increasing media focus on ‘corrective rape’ has also resulted in the ‘hyper-visibility’ of black lesbian bodies. These representations of victimhood can be problematic, as they erase the agency, political activism, pleasure and multidimensionality of black lesbian lives. Furthermore, although there has been increased attention on the lives of black lesbian women, the experiences of black lesbian youth remain marginal. In this paper we present findings from a participatory, photovoice project with young, black lesbian women in the Western Cape. The project involved the development of photo stories and the collection of interview and focus group data from 14 young women between the ages of 13 and 17 years who identify as lesbian or bisexual. We discuss the young women’s experiences of violence and discrimination at school, and how they resist that discrimination. We also discuss how the young women construct and negotiate safety in their community, zoning in on the young women’s agency in their resistance and negotiation of safety, and their defiance of dominant narratives of victimhood. We further discuss how the photovoice methodology can be used as an empowering method to research issues around violence and safety with young people and those who may be stigmatised or marginalised.Keywords: photovoice, black lesbian youth, discrimination, resistance, safety.
  • ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Shefer, T; Kruger, L; Macleod, C; Baxen, J; Vincent, L (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. Yet, research has illustrated that such work may not only be failing to impact on more equitable sexual practices between young men and women, but may also serve to reproduce the very discourses and practices that the work aims to challenge. Cultures of violence in youth sexuality are closely connected to prevailing gender norms and practices which, for example, render women as passive victims who are incapable of exercising sexual agency and men as inherently sexually predatory. This paper analyses the talk of Grade 10 learners in nine diverse schools in two South African provinces, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, to highlight what ‘lessons’ these young people seem to be learning about sexuality in Life Orientation classes. We find that these lessons foreground cautionary, negative and punitive messages, which reinforce, rather than challenge, normative gender roles. ‘Scare’ messages of danger, damage and disease give rise to presumptions of gendered responsibility for risk and the requirement of female restraint in the face of the assertion of masculine desire and predation. We conclude that the role which sexuality education could play in enabling young women in particular to more successfully negotiate their sexual relationships to serve their own needs, reproductive health and safety, is undermined by regulatory messages directed at controlling young people, and young women in particular – and that instead, young people’s sexual agency has to be acknowledged in any processes of change aimed at gender equality, anti-violence, health and well-being.Keywords: Life Orientation, sex, sexuality education, young people, heterosexual practices, gender equality, violence, health, danger.
  • Exclusionary violence and bullying in the playground: Football and gender ‘policing’ at school

    Mayeza, E (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    This paper is based on an ethnographic study with six- to 10-year-old children at play in a South African ‘township’ primary school, conducted between 2012 and 2014. The ethnography demonstrated how children learn to become particular gendered beings through practices of inclusion, exclusion and ‘policing’ through forms of play. Drawing data from aspects of the ethnography, this paper focuses on boys who gained popularity and status at school through their investment in football, not only as a game which they played every day during break at school, but also as a strong source of identification and a dimension of power. It focuses on these boys who became popularly known as the ‘footballing boys’, and the kinds of exclusionary violence and bullying they utilise to dominate the playground space and ‘police’ gender ‘transgression’. It explores how some of the ‘footballing boys’ construct and ‘police’ gender in the playground through violence and bullying. Findings raise prevention implications for consideration by teachers. Furthermore, the implications of the findings for teaching Life Orientation are briefly discussed.Keywords: bullying, football, gender policing, play, primary school ethnography, school playground, South Africa, violence, young children.
  • The role of ex-offenders in implementing the Community Work Programme as a crime and violence prevention initiative

    Langa, M; Masuku, T (University of South Africa (South Africa), 2016-05-26)
    This article deals with the perceived impact of the Community Work Programme (CWP) (a statesponsored job creation project) in preventing crime and violence in the townships of Ivory Park and Orange Farm, South Africa. The focus of this article is on the role that ex-offenders who work in the CWP play in the implementation of crime and violence prevention initiatives in the two communities. Individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with ex-offenders involved in the CWP. The thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings show that the involvement of ex-offenders in the CWP was found to be a positive factor in that it protected them from recidivism by providing them with job opportunities and facilitating their re-integration into their communities. Ex-offenders described their involvement in the CWP as an opportunity to apologise for the pain they had caused community members when they committed crimes against them. It is against this background that the CWP is perceived to have a positive impact through the community work done by ex-offenders who talk to the youth-at-risk about the negative consequences of crime and violence, as well as of substance abuse.Key words: Community Work Programme, crime, ex-offenders, violence, youth.

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