n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Psycho-social characteristics of male perpetrators of intimate partner violence in Namibia

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



In Namibia today, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has become common-place and perpetrators often attempt to conceal the crime by murdering victims. Although there are studies looking at IPV in Namibia, none explicitly focuses on male perpetrators of gender- based violence. The objective of this research was to gain an understanding of male perpetrators of this violence. More specifically, it examines the relationships between perpetration, victimisation, substance abuse and the three psychosocial variables of psychoticism (P), neuroticism (N), introversion-extraversion (E) that have been constructed in prior research as causes of partner violence. Data were collected using both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (focus group discussions) tools. The psychological profiles of the perpetrators were assessed using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) (1985). Among the major findings were that violent inmates register high EPQ P, E and N scores suggesting that psychological factors were major factors contributing to violent crimes committed against women and girls. Factors such as alcohol consumption, low levels of education, unemployment, socio-economic marginalisation, and poor family systems and socialisation all seem to underlie the violent crimes committed against women and girls. We conclude that current programs for prisoners in Namibia should consider psychotherapy and psychological counselling as tools for modifying deviant behaviour.

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