n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The impact of community violence on learners : a study of a school in the Swayimana rural area

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



One of the least understood topics in criminology and criminal justice is rural crime and its effects on young people. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the unique crime and violence issues of rural areas, with a number of studies reporting relatively high levels of violent behaviour and victimisation among rural youth. This qualitative study explores the nature and effects of violence on school-going adolescents in the Swayimana rural area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Study findings suggest that learners face a high risk of exposure to violence; that such exposure is associated with debilitating psychological effects and that 80% of incidents are not reported to the authorities. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for prevention and for future research.

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