n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Understanding sex offending in Namibia : a preliminary analysis

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The available body of scientific information on sex offending is largely drawn from studies that were conducted in the western world. However, the cross-transportability of such evidence to Namibia at this point remains unknown. This study sought to explore the dynamics of sex offending in the Namibian context with the aim of collecting culturally and ecologically valid data with the ultimate goal of utilising the results of the study to inform policy decision-making and programmatic interventions for sexual offenders in Namibia. The study was in three parts. Part A involved a survey of offenders serving terms of imprisonment for sex offences in all the thirteen (13) Namibian correctional facilities on the 1st of June 2014. The purpose of the survey was to establish the exact number of sexual offenders in the custody of the Namibian Correctional Service and to obtain descriptive data of such sexual offenders. This was achieved through an analysis of relevant casefile documents and the completion of a structured questionnaire. In Part B, a set of rape supportive attitudes questions was administered to a total of 40 offenders - 20 of which were serving sentences for sex offences and another group of 20 offenders who were serving sentences for non-sexual violent offences. Part C used a semi-structured interview guide to collect data on the explanations tendered by sexual offenders to account for their actions. The semi-structured interview involved twenty (20) offenders drawn from correctional facilities in each of the four (4) Regional Commands of Namibian Correctional Service (NCS). The study showed that in excess of eleven percent (11%) of the total offender population was currently serving terms of imprisonment for sex offences. It also showed a strong proclivity of endorsing rape supportive attitudes among sexual offenders. It was also shown that the majority of sex offenders attributed their actions to various situational factors. Although in general the study findings were similar to international a few local nuances were also observed. This implies that rehabilitation approaches need some bit of tweaking to better respond to local culture and conditions.

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