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Child Abuse Among The Zulus: A People In Cultural Transition

W. Loening
Published 1981 · Psychology

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Abstract Due to industrialization and Westernization the life-style of the Zulu people has undergone a rapid and radical change. This has led to a breakdown of the traditional culture and has not been replaced by an adequate social support structure. Consequently, the social ills of the First World abound and are compounded by persistent beliefs in witchcraft and the power of the ancestral spirits. The Zulu child has thus been exposed to a wide variety of abuses including sheer brutality, ongoing “minor” trauma, neglect, sexual and alcohol abuse. The extended family of yesteryear no longer exists to absorb the stresses and the nuclear family is frequently incomplete. Some contributions towards a solution are seen in (1) Appropriate education at every possible level; (2) Promoting formal and informal community support groups; (3) Screening mothers perinatally; (4) Developing and promoting an adoption service; and (5) Improving primary health care facilities.
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