Femicide and GBV Collections
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This is a collection of theses and one dataset produced by Nechama Brodie around Femicide.
If anything in this data-set concerns you or if you are concerned based on the data ,that yourself or someone you know might be in danger we urge you to contact, lifeline on 0861 322 322 or to go to the police unit specialising in gender based violence .
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- ItemBarriers to protection: gender-related persecution and asylum in South Africa(2009-10-12T12:24:42Z) Middleton, JulieAbstract In 1998, South Africa became the first country to explicitly state within its refugee law that genderrelated persecution is a binding basis for asylum, further distinguishing South Africa as a state with outstanding legal commitments to gender equality. Creating further visibility within the law, however, is only one step in the process. How the law is implemented determines its real worth and effectiveness. This study assesses the manner in which asylum decisions are made, particularly in cases of gendered harm, questioning readily accepted and essentialised notions of women and gender. It looks at how the South African asylum system defines legitimate refugees, and the interplay of fluid interpretations of gender, culture, violence and the political within these constructions. Through interviews with officials and asylum seekers, the study identifies trends in the refugee system, and interrogates the reliance on narrow understandings of the political and personal, as well as the nature of conflict and culture.
- ItemUnderstanding intimate femicide in South Africa(2010-09-22) Mathews, ShanaazWhen a woman is killed she is most likely to be murdered by an intimate partner. This form of homicide known as intimate femicide is conceptualised to be the most extreme consequence of intimate partner violence. Not much is known about such killings in South Africa or in other developing settings. This thesis studied intimate femicide using two complimentary studies from two methodological perspectives. The first study was quantitative with the aim of describing the incidence and pattern of intimate femicide in South Africa. The second study used qualitative methods and explored the social construction of the early formation of violent masculinities. Five papers written from these two studies are presented in this thesis. Study one was a retrospective national mortuary-based study and collected data on all female homicides, 14 years and older, who died in 1999 from a stratified, multi-stage sample of 25 mortuaries. Data was collected from the mortuary file, autopsy report, and a police interview. The second study used a cluster of qualitative in-depth interviews with 20 incarcerated men in prison who have been convicted for the murder of an intimate partner, as well as interviews with family and friends of both the perpetrator and the victim. Overall it was found that 50.3% of women murdered in South Africa are killed by an intimate partner, with an intimate femicide rate of 8.8/100 000 and an intimate-femicide suicide rate of 1.7/100 000 females 14 years and older. Blunt force injuries were shown to be associated with intimate killings, while gun ownership was associated with intimate femicide-suicides. vi Elevated Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) combined with unemployed status was also found to be associated with intimate killings. The qualitative study showed that traumatic childhood experiences such as violent and neglectful parenting practises particularly by mothers made these men feel unloved, inferior and powerless with this found to be a pathway to violent models of masculinity used as a means to attain power and respect. This study shows that such traumatic experiences can lead to a suppression of emotions. It is argued that cognitive dissonance act as a protective mechanism which allows these men to perpetrate acts of violence without consideration of its impact. These findings suggests that intimate femicide is a complex phenomenon with a “web” of associated and mediating factors which all contribute to it excessive levels in South Africa. It shows that intimate femicide is an extension of intimate partner violence and as such has to take into account the unequal gender relations in society. Building gender equity and shifting patterns of femininity and masculinity is a key strategy in reducing this form of violence.
- Itemlevels and factors associated with homicide-related deaths in a rural South African population(2011-03-25) Otieno, George OmondiABSTRACT Background: World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 1.6 million people die every year because of violence and out of these deaths, homicide accounts for almost one third. Ninety percent (90%) of homicide are thought to occur in low and middle income countries. South Africa has one of the most disturbing rates of homicide in the world. These high homicide rates besides resulting in reduced life expectancy also have serious health, social and economic consequences. Aim: The study aimed at quantifying the burden as well as and identifying factors associated with homicide deaths in rural KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa during the period of 2000 to 2008. Objectives: To estimate a 9 year period (2000-2008) homicide incidence rates as well as identify factors associated with homicide-related deaths. Further, the analysis described spatial distribution of homicide-related deaths in a rural South African population. Design: Analytical longitudinal study. Methods: Using data drawn from the Verbal Autopsies (VAs) conducted on all deaths recorded during annual demographic and health surveillance over a 9-year period (2000-2008), Kaplan-Meier (K-M) survival estimates of incidence rates were used to estimate the cumulative probability of death until the end of the period. Estimates were reported by sex and residency. Weibull regression methods were used to investigate factor associated with homicide deaths. Kulldorff spatial scan statistics was used to describe homicide clustering. Results: With 536 homicide-related deaths, and 814, 715 total Person Years of contribution, the study found an overall incidence rate of 66 (95% CI= (60, 72) per 100, 000 Person Years of v Observation (PYOs) for the period studied. Death due to firearm was reported the leading cause of mortality (65%). Most deaths occurred over the weekends (43%), followed by Friday (16.2%).The highest homicide incidence rates were recorded in 2001 (90; 95% CI= (71, 111) per 100,000 person years at risk and 2004 (86; 95% CI= (68, 108) per 100,000 person years at risk. Males had a rate that was about six times more than females 115 (95% CI=105,127) per 100,000 PYOs. Age-specific homicide rate were highest among males aged 25-29 years (209.90 per 100,000 PYOs) and females aged 50-54 years (78 per 100,000 PYOs). Resident, age, sex, education, socioeconomic status, and employment independently predicted homicide risk. The study identified two geographical clusters with significantly elevated homicide risk. Conclusion: A significant six fold difference in homicide rate existed between males and females. Sex differential increases with age, with males aged 15-54 years the most likely to be killed, and females aged 55 years and above having the highest homicide rate. Increase in wealth status and level of education increases one‘s risk of homicide. Employment per se was protective from homicide risk. Firearm was the leading cause of mortality. Most deaths occur over the weekend. Two geographical areas with elevated homicide risk were observed. These findings underscore the need to have timely information and strategies for effective violence prevention program to subgroups and areas at risk.
- ItemExposure to violent crime, fear of crime, and traumatic stress symptomatology.(2011-04-13) Engelbrecht, Sarah-KateThe central aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between exposure to violent crime, traumatic stress symptomatology, and fear of crime. Secondary areas of interest included the effect of the frequency of exposure to violent crime on traumatic stress symptomatology and fear of crime, as well as sex differences in the three main variables of study. In order to explore these aims, a quantitative cross-sectional research design was used. Measures included a self-developed exposure measure, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and a fear of crime measure used in a previous South African study. The sample was comprised of 216 first-year university students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlations, t-tests, and analysis of variance (one-way and two-way) and post-hoc t-tests. The results of the research indicated high levels of exposure to violent crime (including direct and indirect exposure). Almost half the sample (47%) reported exposure to violent crime in the preceding 12 months. Furthermore, over half the sample (58%) reported direct exposure to non-crime trauma in the preceding 12 months, with only about one-quarter of the sample (20%) reporting no exposure to any kind of trauma in the preceding 12 months. It was thus unsurprising that levels of traumatic stress symptomatology were generally in the moderate range and at least 20% of the total sample reported traumatic stress symptomatology of clinical concern. Fear of crime was found to be rather pervasive in the sample. Findings showed support for the relationships between exposure to violent crime and traumatic stress symptomatology, exposure to violent crime and fear of crime, and fear of crime and traumatic stress symptomatology. Significant differences were found between groups based on level and type of exposure and significant correlations were found between the perceived severity of exposure to violent crime on the one hand, and traumatic stress symptomatology and fear of crime on the other hand. Frequency of exposure to violent crime was found to be significantly related to fear of crime but not to traumatic stress symptomatology. Female subjects reported significantly higher perceived severity of exposure to violent crime, hyperarousal related symptoms and fear of crime. The implications of the findings are explored.
- ItemThe demographic profile, substance use, competence to stand trial and criminal responsibility among “ Observation Patients” admitted for forensic psychiatric evaluation at Sterkfontein Hospital, Gauteng, South Africa.(2011-10-19) Pillay, AnbenA review of the literature indicates that young males, who are unemployed with low levels of education, predominate in populations of pre-trial criminal offenders suspected of having a psychiatric illness, also known as “Observation Patients” according to the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977 in South Africa. Other contributory factors include a history of mental illness and non-compliance on psychiatric medication, a previous forensic history, co-morbid substance abuse and being intoxicated at the time of the offence. Dual diagnosis is considered a key contributor to criminal behaviour in this group of patients. The review of the literature also shows a significant proportion of co-morbid intellectual disability among offenders found to be psychiatrically ill at the time of the criminal event. A previous study conducted 20 years earlier, in 1986 at the Sterkfontein Forensic Psychiatric Unit by Vorster (1986) showed that the typical profile was a single, unemployed, poorly educated male in his twenties, usually with a history of psychiatric treatment. This typical profile confirmed the evidence in the literatures at the time of the study.
- ItemMedia representations of gratuitous violence in South Africa.(2012-01-17) Green, MailieNo abstract present on CD or dissertation.
- ItemAn analysis of coverage of gender-based violence, sourcing patterns and representation of victims in Sowetan, January-March 2008(2014-10-22) Ndlovu, SikhonzileDespite its pervasiveness, gender-based violence is one of the least talked about violations of women’s rights as most of it takes place within the private domain and is never reported (Gender Links 2002). Gender-based violence is mostly common at family and community level and mostly affects women (Omarjee, 2006). Family attitudes and pressures ensure that this remains hidden from the outside world (IPS, 2009). People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA South Africa) estimates that only one in nine gender-based violence incidences are reported. Violence against women continues partly because women do not seem to acknowledge violence perpetrated against them and are unlikely to seek help when it occurs (Rasool, 2002). The Noord taxi rank ‘miniskirt’ incident, as it came to be known, exposed the sad realities of gender-based violence in contemporary South Africa. In February 2008, a 25 year old woman was sexually harassed for wearing a miniskirt at the Noord Taxi Rank. This incident, described by Nyar (2008) as degrading and shocking, is part of the fabric of South African life. The way that media represents gender-based violence has a significant role to play in curbing this social ill. Sadly, media often emphasise the need for women to be extra vigilant when moving around at night. This in essence is saying that women should take responsibility for the fact that they may be attacked at any time (Gqola, 1997). This scrutiny is also reflected in the way that media have also questioned the morals of victims of gender-based violence especially rape (Carter and Weaver, 2003). This study analysed Sowetan’s daily media output for the months of January to March 2008 to establish patterns in coverage of gender-based violence, sourcing and representation of victims. Key words Gender, gender-based violence, victims, feminist theory, patriarchy, power, media, representation, sourcing
- ItemUnmasking serial murder: a comparison of a South African murder series with characteristics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Serial Murder Database(2015) Holland, ShakeeraThe term ‘serial killer’ brings to mind notorious criminals whose crimes are so heinous as to test the limits of the most vivid imagination and make us question their humanity. What is the reality of serial murder? In 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a symposium on serial murder, which brought together international experts in the field of serial murder with the aim of clarifying and understanding this multifarious crime. On the 12th of March 2008, Gcinumzi Richman Makhwenkwe, ‘The Moffat Park Serial Murderer’ was convicted of 5 counts of murder, 3 counts of rape and 3 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances. The Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology of the University of the Witwatersrand, based at the Johannesburg Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) Medicolegal Mortuary Facility performed the medicolegal investigations of death in all the victims. This research report explores the characteristics of serial murder and serial murderers as documented in the literature; documents the features and characteristics of the Moffat Park murder series; compares the features of this South African murder series to those from the findings of the FBI serial murder symposium; explores the role of the forensic medical practitioner in the investigation of the Moffat Park series and serves to educate and inform forensic medical practitioners of the features of serial murder as awareness may potentially lead to earlier identification of a murder series. This could ultimately lead to earlier implementation of specialist investigative methods, earlier apprehension of the serial murderer and most importantly fewer victims.
- ItemThe relationship between awareness of violence against women prevention campaigns and gender attitudes and talking about violence among women in Gauteng(2016-10-12) Mataba, Rumbidzayi BIntroduction: Gender based violence (GBV) is a public health problem with as many as 35% of women having been subjected to either physical and or sexual violence globally. Gender attitudes and silence around gender based violence, are factors that exacerbate GBV. Global and local awareness campaigns are means for preventing violence against women. Campaigns have the potential to challenge women and men’s underlying gender beliefs and attitudes that contribute to unequal power relations between women and men. The overall objective of this study was to examine the association between awareness campaigns and gender attitudes or talking about domestic violence among women in Gauteng, South Africa. Materials and Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of data from a cross-sectional study conducted in Gauteng, South Africa from April to July 2010. The study aimed to describe the prevalence and patterns of experiences of GBV, HIV risk, gender attitude and awareness of GBV prevention campaigns in Gauteng. The main exposure variable in this study is having heard about 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign and the 365 Days National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence. The two primary outcomes are gender attitudes and discussing about domestic violence. Gender attitudes were measured using three scales: the Gender Equitable Women’s Scale, the Ideas about Gender Relations Scale and the Ideas about Rape Scale. Univariate analysis was conducted to describe the socio-demographic characteristics, awareness of campaigns, gender attitudes and talking about domestic violence among the participants. Multivariate analysis was conducted to examine the associations between awareness of campaigns and the outcomes while adjusting for age, education, employment, nationality, race and relationship status. Results: The results show that only a minority of the participants had heard of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign (32.6%) and the 365 Days National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence (9.2%) campaigns. Most of the participants had progressive gender attitudes; GEWS (71.7%), IGRS (82.1%) and the IRS (88.1%) while less than half (48.7%) had spoken about domestic violence to someone else. Women who were exposed to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign were twice as likely to have progressive gender attitudes measured by the Gender Equitable Women’s Scale (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-3.8) compared to those who had not been exposed. Education, relationship status and nationality were found to be significantly associated with gender attitudes on the same scale. No association was found between awareness of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign and gender attitudes measured through the Ideas about Gender Relations Scale and the Ideas about Rape Scale. Awareness of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign was also associated with talking about domestic violence (aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2 - 3.0). Age and education were also significantly associated with talking about domestic violence. Gender attitudes were also significantly associated with talking about domestic violence (aOR 1.2 95% CI 1.1 – 3.6). No association was found between exposure to the 365 Days National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence and gender attitudes or talking about domestic violence. Conclusions: From this study, the majority of the women interviewed had progressive gender attitudes. However, the majority of the women had never spoken about domestic violence to someone else. Women exposed to GBV campaigns had more progressive gender attitudes and spoke about domestic violence more than those who were not exposed. These findings are evidence to the need for wider coverage and different messaging approaches in the implementation of GBV campaigns in South Africa. Wider coverage of campaigns is only possible with more funding for national, provincial and local GBV programmes. Key messages in GBV campaigns need to include a priority focus on addressing the underlying social and cultural norms that contribute to the imbalances of power due to gender difference.
- ItemMinds, objects, and persons – narratives of perpetrators of violent crime(2017) Dias, Angelo RidgeAlthough research on violence has gained momentum over the last 3 decades, very little work on situational factors involved in violent enactments has been undertaken in South Africa. As a means to address this limitation, the aim of this project was to better understand the phenomenology of violence. Embedded in a psychosocial approach, the study subjected data collected through three staggered semi-structured interviews with nineteen incarcerated perpetrators of violent crime to a twostage secondary data analysis using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The first phase, aimed to provide a broad general phenomenological reading of these fifty-seven interviews. Thereafter, a more strategic and theory driven analysis was performed, building on the broader reports of the phenomenology of violence and the perceived situational factors. The evidence suggests that neoliberal policies and ideology may have a significant role in production of violent crime in the South African context, informing not only the behavioural repertoire of its constituency, but, also coming to shape the way in which perpetrators make meaning of their lifeworld and perpetration of violent crime. The analysis also found that impairments in mentalization appeared to play a role as a situational determinant in violent enactments, and interestingly it appeared to be influenced by a number of other relevant situational factors (e.g. the presence and use of illicit substances, peer and social presence and pressure, indicators of a possible threat to their wellbeing, the presence of gangsters, the presence of indicators of conspicuous consumption, as well as, indicators of the presence of moral disengagement). As such, this study provides strong support for further research aimed at understanding the ways in which violence comes to be produced by the structural processes of neoliberalism, it’s influence on the subjectivity of individuals in neoliberalized contexts, and its arguably corrosive effect on marginalized communities by way of its divestment, as well as, its arguably negative sociocultural impact. The project’s overall contribution to psychosocial approaches to violence lies in its demonstration of the value of bridging theories that span work on moral disengagement, conspicuous consumption, neoliberalism, mentalization theory, phenomenology, and violence.
- ItemThe motive of a South African male muti murder offender: a case study(2018) Thenga, KhalirendweTraditional healers in South Africa are easily accessible to individuals who require their services. Traditionally, traditional healers would help their clients either by giving them advice or by giving them muti made from plants and/ or animal body parts. However, some traditional healers have adopted the practice of using human body parts in muti. Traditional healers who practice muti murder believe that different human body parts have different “powers”. The traditional healer who practices muti murder will often appoint someone to carry out the murder thus they are not directly involved in the murder. There are various motives for committing murder and the current study utilised a single case study design to investigate the motives of Black South African males who commit muti murder. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, the researcher was able to recruit one participant. The participant was interviewed by the researcher in Northern Sotho. The researcher recorded and transcribed the interview. The researcher utilised thematic analysis to analyse the data. The current study identified two motives for committing muti murder, “cultural beliefs” and “financial gain”. Future studies should recruit more participants and delve into the motive, financial gain.
- ItemExploring childhood, criminality and power in South African juvenile murderers' constructions of their offences(2018) Mostert, Alexa EllenIn instances of child-perpetrated crime or violence, normative constructions of the child contradict those of the criminal, creating an ambiguous discursive landscape in which juvenile-offenders have to situate themselves. The construct of the child is premised on the assumption of innocence, naivety and purity which are incompatible with aggressive constructions of perpetrators. The aim of this research was thus to explore juvenile-offenders’ use of discourses in producing or resisting the subject-position of a child-offender and in navigating the discursive conflict within this subject-position. Accordingly, this study targeted incarcerated South African juvenile-offenders who have been charged with murder. Participants in this study were aged between 18 and 21, and were all under the age of 19 at the time of the offence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 incarcerated juvenile-offenders across several juvenile correctional facilities in South Africa. Thereafter the transcripts of these interviews were subjected to a Faircloughian (1989-1995) critical discourse analysis to portray how participants drew on conditions of childhood, vulnerability and victimisation to challenge their belonging to the category of ‘criminal’. Specifically, participants in this study utilised gendered discourse and normative constructions of crime, criminality and victimhood to restrict the category of ‘criminal’ being imposed upon them by the material condition of their incarcerations. In this way, the child as violent is made possible, while the child as criminal, particularly the child as a possible murderer, is resisted and marginalised. These findings challenge normative constructions of both childhood and violence, and consequently provide counter-knowledge for how we understand violence and criminality in contemporary theory and practice.
- ItemUsing mixed-method approaches to provide new insights into media coverage of femicide(2019) Brodie, Nechama R.South Africa has a femicide rate that is six times the world average. Over 2,500 women aged 14 years or older are murdered every year, the majority of these women killed by an intimate partner. Despite the prevalence of femicide, less than 20% of these murders are ever reported in South African news media. Studies on news-media coverage of femicide reveal a subjective and obscure process of media selection and exclusion, which contribute to an archive of crime reporting that is not reflective of actual crime rates and which actively distort the nature and frequency of certain types of crime. This influences public perceptions and fear of violent crime, including notions of who is a suspect and who is most at risk. This study uses mixed-method approaches to document and analyse the content and extent of commercial news media coverage of femicides that took place in South Africa during the 2012/2013 crime reporting year, through an original media database listing 408 femicide victims associated with 5,778 press articles. Victim and incident information is compared with epidemiological and statistical data, including mortuary-based studies and police crime statistics. Media data is explored through various media effects models, including a mixedmethods framing analysis, and is also examined by title, and by language. These analyses reveal how media constructs and depicts particular notions of gender, violence, race, and crime in South Africa.
- Item'Credible' child perpetrators: A critical discourse analysis of South African juvenile murderers(2019) Masuku, KwaneleConstructions of violence constrain women and children to victims and men to perpetrators, and imply that children are, at all times pure, innocent and, vulnerable. As such, child perpetrated crimes contradict these normative constructions, thus rendering child perpetrators inconceivable. The aim of this research was thus to identify resistance discourse that oppose these normative constructions of violence. This was achieved by interviewing incarcerated juvenile-offenders from juvenile correctional centres in South Africa. After the interviews were transcribed, the transcripts were subjected to Parker’s (1992, 2004) critical discourse analysis. The findings illustrate how normative constructions of childhood and violence render child perpetrators inconceivable. Additionally, the analysis surfaced resistance discourse which challenge normative constructions of childhood and violence, and provide counter-knowledge on violence and crime within South Africa.
- ItemDataset : metadata extration tables of femicide reported in News Media(Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,, 2019-03-15) Brodie, Nechama RachelSouth Africa has a femicide rate that is six times the world average. Over 2,500 women aged 14 years or older are murdered every year, the majority of these women killed by an intimate partner. Despite the prevalence of femicide, less than 20% of these murders are ever reported in South African news media. Studies on news-media coverage of femicide reveal a subjective and obscure process of media selection and exclusion, which contribute to an archive of crime reporting that is not reflective of actual crime rates and which actively distort the nature and frequency of certain types of crime. This influences public perceptions and fear of violent crime, including notions of who is a suspect and who is most at risk. This study uses mixed-method approaches to document and analyse the content and extent of commercial news media coverage of femicides that took place in South Africa during the 2012/2013 crime reporting year, through an original media database listing 408 femicide victims associated with 5,778 press articles. Victim and incident information is compared with epidemiological and statistical data, including mortuary-based studies and police crime statistics. Media data is explored through various media effects models, including a mixed methods framing analysis, and is also examined by title, and by language. These analyses reveal how media constructs and depicts particular notions of gender, violence, race, and crime in South Africa. contact Nechama.Brodie@wits.ac.za