n Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine - The trauma from which victims of farm attacks suffer - research

Volume 113 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1015-2385


It was month end when all the farm workers went home after their wages had been paid. The only people left on the small farm just north of Pretoria were the elderly couple who own the peaceful piece of land. That night their peace was forever disturbed when an intruder gained access through an open security door. He surprised them in their bedroom and as the intruder knew exactly where all the safes in the house were, he forced the farmer to open them. He tied up the couple and assaulted them for a few hours, before there was a "knock" on the door. Under the impression that someone had arrived on the farm, the intruder took the money and firearms from the safes, as well as a television set, and fled the scene. The knock on the door was in actual fact made by the farmer's dog who was scratching on the door - but this sound might have been the factor which saved the couple's life. After the intruder had left, the injured and severely traumatised couple managed to get help from their neighbours. More than a year after this incident the couple still refuse to go back to the farm which they both loved dearly. The incident resulted in the farmer losing his hearing in one of his ears, and his wife developing heart problems while both suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after their ordeal. This story is similar to so many other farmers' stories. While some were tortured and brutally murdered for a few hundred rand, others are alive and relive all the events over and over.

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