n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - The effect of child abuse on adult perpetrators of sex offences : a developmental perspective

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383


International research suggests that the development a profile for a sex offender is often difficult as they are a heterogeneous group with a common feature of deviant sexual behaviour. Whether this is similar in South Africa, remains unexplored. The current study aimed to examine the prevalent characteristics of sex offenders who participated in a community-based treatment programme in the Western Cape, South Africa, over a 20-year period (1993-2013). This study was a descriptive study using a retrospective archival research design by using patient records of sex offenders who entered a community-based programme. The final sample was 230 males, with a mean age of 41 ( = 13.07) years, the majority of whom were married [118 (51%)], were employed [179 (77.8%)] and lived with a spouse and/or partner [113 (49%)]. The results suggest the victims were known to the perpetrators, had been exposed to domestic violence in the family of origin, had a long term separation from their parents, had a negative relationship with the mother and had been raised by a single parent. Furthermore they had not previously been juvenile offenders, had not been diagnosed with a disorder, nor used drugs but used alcohol and had multiple victims. The results of this study have implications for prevention and intervention strategies.

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