Red Cross 16 Days of Activism Story Four | Funeka

Funeka* and Vuyo* were brought into the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital by a family member. Overcome with a desperate need to end a vicious cycle of physical abuse, this family member disclosed a horrifying history of extreme physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Abuse suffered at the hands of their mother.

A physical examination of the siblings revealed no signs of recent abuse, but it was clear that both children were grappling with extreme Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  14-year-old Funeka expressed feelings of deep loneliness and said she felt that there was no one that truly cared for her. 7-year-old Vuyo was emotionally withdrawn, hyper-vigilant and suffered from restless and broken sleep.

A police case has been opened and the family member who brought the sibling to the Hospital has made a statement. She described feeling incredibly angry and helpless but was desperate to help these two children get back to a place where they felt safe and loved.

In addition to continued therapy, a community-based social worker has also been tasked with investigating the care options for the children in the future. For now, they remain in this family members care.

* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW THEIR NAMES TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD

Red Cross 16 Days of Activism Story Three | Caitlyn

Caitlyn* is a 4-month-old baby girl. While most children her age are cuddled close to their mother’s chests in a solid bubble of love, Caitlyn’s reality is violently different.

Caitlyn was admitted to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by an adult male who was known to her family. Caitlyn’s case was sent to the child protection office and an investigation began.

Caitlyn’s parents revealed that they were sleeping their home – a wendy house – when a man known to the family, climbed through the window and abducted Caitlyn and another 6-year-old boy that was also asleep in the room at the time. The adult male raped both Caitlyn and the 6-year-old boy he had kidnapped with Caitlyn.

A police case was opened and the perpetrator was arrested. After criminal court proceedings, he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Caitlyn was removed from her parents care and put in a place of safety. Caitlyn’s parents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of her abduction. After just 4 short months in this world, she has had to face more violence than most of us face in a lifetime.

* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD

Red Cross 16 Days of Activism Story Two | Akhona

Akhona* was admitted to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by her uncle.

Akhona’s mother had left her in the care of her uncle, trusting that as a family member, he would have her best interests at heart. Sadly, this was not the case. After the child protection office at the Hospital got involved, an investigation started and a police case was opened.

The uncle was arrested and confessed to the crime. He has since been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

Akhona was discharged back into her mother’s care and continues to experience severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including inappropriate sexual behaviour. Akhona’s mother has slipped into a manic-depressive state. After Akhona’s rape she attempted to commit suicide. Through hours of therapy it was revealed that she too is a rape survivor, having lived through chronic sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather 25 years ago.

Akhona’s story is an example of how pervasive sexual violence in our society can be.

* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD

 

 

Red Cross 16 Days of Activism Story One | Alexander

 

A 10 year old boy was admitted to the hospital with skull fractures and bleeding on the brain after were referred for counselling. The patient was discharged back into the care of the mother after the child protection investigation was concluded. The father was granted bail even though the social worker he disclosed being physically assaulted by his father. After a social work investigation, a long standing history of domestic violence was reported.

The mother attempted on multiple times to leave the abusive relationship but always returned after the father apologised. A police case was opened the father was arrested. Mother and the children wrote to court to oppose bail. The mother works to support her children. The father has been given specific bail conditions to stay away from the family home and from his wife and children.

The mother and children are very fearful. The social workers provide monitoring but have limited resources.

* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD

Happy Birthday To Me

I have the most amazing people in my life! I have reached a happier and deeper understanding of my life and it is lifechanging.  I do not allow many people into the world of me because the world of me is not for everyone, sometimes it’s not even for me. 

BUT

The few that are apart of my life, make everything worthwhile.  From the down moments to the up moments.  To the everything inbetween. Like being dunked into a pool unawares, the appreciativeness has just enveloped me and I am inlove. 

With love

With you

With the guys and girls in my life 

Appreciative

Overwhelmed

I really do have the best people in my life.  They make the 9 – 5 just a little easier