n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Revictimisation of rape victims by the South African Police Service

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article investigates whether rape victims are not reporting their rape incidences to the South African Police Service due to fear of being revictimised. Ten rape victims were interviewed by two counsellors from the 'Pietermaritzburg Rape Crisis Centre, a non-governmental organisation situated in Pietermaritzburg. Qualitative data analysis of the information obtained from the interviews indicated that revictimisation of rape victims by South African Police Service members can be described through processes and consequences. With regards to the processes, themes of an uncaring attitude, intimidation and uncommunicativeness by police officials were identified. With regards to the consequences, certain themes among rape victims were identified, namely anxiety, guilt and distrust. It was found that most of the victims interviewed by rape counsellors in this study believed that the police were unsympathetic towards their plight for assistance and that they would be hesitant to seek assistance from the police in future as a consequence.

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