Monday, January 24, 2011

Stories about true South African Crime

I haven't been here for a while, so I thought I'd come back with a sort of a bang (well I think so)

I'm a member of a True Crime club on the website Goodreads and we love talking about who our "favorite" (if you could call it that) serial killer is, and who's work do we kind of watch... nothing creepy, we're just all interested in true crime. But lately I've been interested in crime in South Africa, where I'm from, but the books are rather limited, so I thought I'd share some information about crime in South Africa here with you and showcase some books.

I'm currently a second year psychology and criminology student at UNISA and I love to read about crime in South Africa and what makes it so different from other countries. South Africa has a high rate of murders, assaults, rapes, and other crimes compared to most countries. Many people leave the country because of high crime rates. There are also many gang related crimes, especially in the Western Cape where gangs are plenty. Murders are often committed, but Serial killers aren't as many compared to other countries.

A survey for the period 1998–2000 compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranked South Africa second for assault and murder (by all means) per capita and first for rapes per capita in a data set of 60 countries. Total crime per capita was 10th out of the 60 countries in the data set. Rapes happen not only because of obvious reasons, but women are raped because of some beliefs that men have, one of these are that you will be cured of Aids if you have sex with a virgin. (This is NOT true). Some men are also offended by Lesbians and rape them in order for them to become "normal" again. This is NOT true, again. Rape is usually also a result of a man wanting to feel power over the women.

The murder rate has increased by an order of magnitude in South Africa during the last 40 years,though it has fallen from 66.9 per 100,000 people in 1994–95 to 37.3 per 100,000 in 2008–09. From 2003–2009, crime decreased significantly according to official police data.

According to government statistics, violent crimes such as murder and (reported) robberies decreased in 2007. Between 1994 and 2009, the murder rate reduced by 50% to 34 murders per 100 000 people.Rape and hijacking rates, however, showed no signs of slowdown. Hijackings and cash-in-transit heists, particularly, have been shown to be on the increase. The incidence of rape has led to the country being referred to as the "rape capital of the world", scary thought isn't it?

There are different manners of crime in this Country, but we are working on fighting this fight and decreasing crime. It's not an easy task but it has to be done.

So if you'd like to hear more about true accounts of victims of crime you should try these:

I have Life - The true story of Alison who survived rape and near murder (A gripping tale)

Living without Liesl - a Mothers tale about her daughters murder right in their own backyard

It's me, Anna - The story of a young girls abuse by her stepfather

Steeped in Blood - a Forensic scientist tells his story

If you know of any other great books please share them with us

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