n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Sexual victimisation of male offenders and awaiting-trial detainees in a South African correctional centre

Special Edition 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The research for this article was undertaken in one South African correctional centre and indicates that men are subjected to sexual victimisation on a regular basis. Interviews were conducted with 100 male awaiting-trial child, juvenile and adult detainees (ATDs) as well as with male juvenile and adult offenders. The researcher aimed to determine the participant's knowledge of sexual practices in the correctional centre. The majority of the participants (78%) reported that anal penetration is practiced in this correctional centre, and includes both rape (one-on-one and gang rape) as well as consensual sex between two inmates. An interesting finding is that this type of sex is mentioned across the research sample (children, juveniles and adult males). Sixty-four percent (64%) of the participants reported that inmates practice interfemoral sex. The third type of sex that is practiced in the correctional centre is oral sex (23%), followed by masturbation (21%). Many of the participants replied that the type of sex (anal, interfemoral, oral or masturbation) is often agreed upon by both parties. The reasons why men participate in sex while awaiting-trial include a need for emotional sex, survival sex, compliance sex and forced sex. Regarding the sexual victimisation that takes place in this particular correctional centre, more than half of the participants (57%) revealed that they had sexual insults directed at them, some every day. However, they do not recognise this as a form of sexual victimisation, rather as a part of life in a correctional centre. Other sexual acts that the victims have been subjected to include forced oral sex, interfemoral sex and masturbation. With specific reference to rape, the majority (84%) of the research participants affirmed that they have heard of rape, and offered the following reasons for this act : two inmates not reaching an agreement, corruption by correctional officials, gang involvement and deception. The researcher interviewed six victims of rape and four perpetrators. In the presentation the characteristics of both the victims and the perpetrators will be discussed. The protocol developed for this correctional centre to make it easier for victims of sexual victimisation to report the crime to correctional officials will also be discussed.

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