n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Victims of farm attacks : psychological consequences

Special Edition 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The impact of farm attacks on primary and secondary victims is often unknown and unacknowledged. For the purpose of this article, the researcher aims to explore and identify the possible consequences a victim of farm attacks might experience by conducting a literature study. The researcher will furthermore focus on the psychological impact of farm attacks on primary and secondary victims whom do not receive any treatment or counselling by identifying possible psychological consequences these victims of trauma might experience. The psychological consequences of a traumatic incident (in this case, a farm attack), and possible psychological needs will be identified. Psychological theories regarding the reactions of victims will be identified which can aid researchers and service providers to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of victims of violent crimes. By supporting a victim, he / she may be assisted in coping or regaining control of the situation they find themselves in after an attack. This research might provide victims and service providers with information on how to assist these victims in making the necessary mindset change in order for them to function on a level required for day-to-day living. Ultimately the researcher aims to create awareness through this article among service providers and tertiary institutions regarding the severe psychological trauma a survivor of this crime might endure. Due to the lack of support or victim empowerment programmes for victims of these crimes, a call is made upon these role players who may possibly be able to make a difference in these victim's lives by creating such programmes and addressing their needs as indicated in this article. If possible Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder goes undiagnosed and untreated the victim's functioning might be impaired to a significant extent for the rest of their lives. The lack of resources and referral systems for victims of farm attacks will be explored and suggestions will be made by the researcher to hopefully assist in preventing further psychological damage in the victim through the utilisation of existing service providers or by proposing the need of a victim empowerment programme for this purpose.

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