School of Applied Human Sciences

UKZN Staffer gets PhD for victimological analysis of physically disabled children

Dr Ephraim Sibanyoni
Dr Ephraim Sibanyoni

Dr Ephraim Sibanyoni, an academic in the School of Applied Human Sciences, recently graduated with his PhD in Criminology and Forensic Studies from UKZN for his study that focused on a victimological analysis of physically disabled children as victims of violence in the Eastern Cape.

In his research, he explored forms of violence these physically disabled children experience in the Eastern Cape; if physically disabled children are the victims of violence due to their disability; the effects of violence they experience and whether the violence experienced by them is reported to the criminal justice system in the Eastern Cape.

The study finds that, these physically disabled children are victimized due to their disability. Their disability conditions makes them vulnerable to victimization. The study also finds that these physically disabled children succumbed to severe long-term effects because of their victimization. The abuse they experienced have had long-term damaging effects.

The study further finds that, most of the abuse/crime committed against these children are not reported to the police. In turn, the perpetrators are not subjected to the criminal justice processes. The study also finds that these children prefer to report the abuse to their teachers than to other individuals.

Dr Sibanyoni recommends that future researchers might need to conduct research on victimization of physically disabled children in public transport. His current study protruded that there is somewhat victimization of physically disabled children occurring in public transport.

‘As this was not the focus of the study, other researchers might wish to expand on this phenomenon. Further research is needed to investigate bullying occurring in special needs school, where physically disabled children bully each other. The findings of the study indicated the prevalence of bullying between physically disabled children, however more insight of the phenomenon is needed. Lastly, other researchers might explore the attempt of infanticide of infants with disabilities because of their disabilities,’ said Sibanyoni.

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