Violence In South Africa

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Violence in South Africa and its impact on mental health IntroductionViolence in South Africa and its impact on mental health Introduction According to the World Health Organization in the World Report on Violence and Health, violence is defined as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened as actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”. (Krug E, Dahlberg L, Mercy J. et al.2002). The definition is further, divided into three categories, according to who has committed the violent act. There is self-directed violence, where one intends in harming one`s self in acts…show more content…
Other types of violence includes: sexual violence, gender based violence, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, family violence, child maltreatment, youth violence, media violence, elder abuse, workplace violence, structural violence, armed conflict, new wars, complex emergencies, terrorism and genocide. The South African homicide rate is much higher compared to road traffic and suicide rates, when compared to other regions. The suicide rate however cannot be considered low. The easy availability of firearms and gang violence are also leading factors to the violence. Over half of the homicide rates (54%) are firearm related. South Africa is placed among one of the most violent countries in the world with a standardized homicide rate (64.8 per 100 000). In Cape Town`s poorer townships of Khayelisha and Nyanga, male youth violence is reflected in extremely high homicide rates (451 and 485 per 100 000, respectively) in the 15-24 age group (Groenewald P, Bradshaw D, Nojilana B, Bourne D, Nixon J, Mohamed H, et al. 2003). Violent rapes and sexual offences are more prevalent in South Africa, mostly among women, children and even toddlers. South Africa has been termed the “rape capital of the world” (Human Rights…show more content…
It appears that violence seems to have increased alongside an increase in, high unemployment, income poverty and inequality. (Seekings J, Thaler K, 2010). Evidence suggests that violence is much higher in the lower socio economic areas. These communities are more at risk for violent crimes. Some of the contributing factors to this is, poor and inadequate street lighting, no proper infrastructure, poor security measures and overcrowding. Families living in such communities usually live in fear. Alcohol abuse, violence and mental illness, according to evidence are all interrelated. Alcohol and drug abuse are one of the leading contributing factors to violent

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