30 March 2004South Africa’s fight against domestic violence has been intensified with the publication of a training manual to enhance the skills of workers handling domestic violence cases.The multi-disciplinary manual is designed to build capacity and strengthen the specialised skills of such workers.The Integrated Domestic Violence Training Programme manual, which will in future be accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority, aims to help police officers, prosecutors, magistrates, counsellors, health practitioners and victim assistant officers to deal adequately with domestic violence.Launching the manual in Pretoria on Monday, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Penuell Maduna said it would complement the current Domestic Violence Act, as it would also address the social challenges associated with abuse against women and children.“Domestic violence happens in homes, and we can’t place a police officer at every home in the country”, Maduna said. “This manual addresses the social problems associated with this abuse.”The manual is an initiative of the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, in partnership with the Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia and the SA National Integrated Domestic Violence Committee.It is categorised into five modules. The first module outlines the social context of domestic violence, the second module explains current laws on domestic violence, while the third module outlines the various roles and responsibilities of the police, prosecutors, magistrates, and counsellors in implementing the law while offering improved, holistic treatment for survivors.The fourth module helps role players to support survivors and plan their safety, while the fifth module teaches role players how to interview domestic violence survivors in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to their needs.Source: BuaNews
Shoaib AkhtarImran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar’s 17-year-old cousin, takes a break after a tiring match at the Railway cricket ground close to the home of the town’s most famous cricketer. Khan and other boys play cricket only when Pakistan plays a match in the World Cup. That is their way of expressing solidarity with Shahid Afridi and the men in green. And whenever 36-year-old Akhtar, nicknamed Rawalpindi Express, takes a wicket, someone screams to convey the news from an adjacent building. An instant roar goes up on the ground.Khan rushes home to switch from live cricket to watch a match he loves: Akhtar’s fearsome spell of five for 21 against Australia in Colombo in 2002. “The world will miss one of its best fastestbowlers,” says Khan, in shock over Akhtar’s decision to retire from first-class cricket.Akhtar announced his decision on March 17 at an emotional gathering in Colombo where he delivered an impromptu farewell speech. He was instantly hugged by his teammates. The news spread fast, prompting many to react. Among them was Australian skipper Ricky Ponting who called him the fastest he has faced in international cricket. “I had some great duels over the years. He was express pace, a very very good bowler,” Ponting told a press conference in Colombo. Former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif, agrees: “He was among the most glamourous cricketers of all time. The only worry for me was his pace.” Pakistani cricketer, Aamer Sohail, simply says it would be “difficult for Pakistan to find a replacement.”advertisementThe Railway cricket ground is Akhtar’s breeding ground. He played cricket here as a schoolboy and impressed many with his incredible swinging yorkers at high speed. He routinely practised here even after becoming a superstar. “We are honoured to play at this ground,” says Akram, 16, whose house is a yard away from Akhtar’s home. He is not interested in any debate on whether Akhtar is actually the world’s fastest bowler. “He is, for me.” He reminds everyone that the cricketer still holds the world record of bowling at 100 miles per hour.Akhtar has taken 178 test and 241 odi wickets, his average in both forms is the fourth-best for any Pakistani bowler who has taken more than 150 wickets. But his Test strike rate of 45.7 is second only to Waqar Younis’s 43.4. In this town, he has the unflinching loyalty of both the young and the old. Eleven-year-old Hamza, an aspiring fast bowler, is sure of Pakistan winning the World Cup only because they have Akhtar on their side.A pall of gloom hangs over his home where uncle Mohammad Bashir, a retired Army officer, smells a conspiracy against his nephew. “He is not even married. He could have easily served Pakistan for anotherfive years. I do not think he can make such a stupid decision unless, of course, he was forced to do it,” Bashir told India Today.Standing nearby is Mohammad Tahir, who coached Akhtar for five years when he started playing cricket at the national level. He also believes that some hidden forces are coercing Akhtar to retire from international cricket. “See his fitness levels, he is fit. So please do not push him out of the side,” says Tahir who blames the “mafia” in the Pakistan Cricket Board for destroying Akhtar’s life.Raja Mohammad Ali and Raja Majid Hussein, who have played club cricket with Akhtar for years, were surprised to hear about Akhtar’s retirement from international cricket. “Akhtar wished to serve Pakistan cricket for three more years even after the World Cup. We talked a week before he left for Dhaka. What made him change his mind,” wonders Hussein.Peer Mohi-ud-Deen, imam of a mosque situated in the neighbourhood, joins the discussion. He also wants Akhtar to change his decision. “We want to see you in hot pursuit of wickets,” says the imam, a die-hard Akhtar fan. Thirty-six is no age to retire. “The Indian team is struggling with fitness. They have not sacked the whole team,” argues Mohi-ud-Deen. Now that’s a thought.