An explorative study of serial rape and victimisation risk in South Africa.
de Wet, J.
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Serial rape attracts much media attention and has become a topic of increased interest and concern. However, both locally and internationally, there is a paucity of empirically based research. The limited research which exists often does not focus on the victim as a “subject” which could contribute to solving existing cases or in curtailing the serial rapist. In this article, socio-demographic characteristics of 75 victims of serial rape, and how they were selected by the rapist were used to construct a general profile of the people who are the targets of the serial rapist. Factors or contexts which put women at risk are also identified and investigated. Comparisons are made between the characteristics of the victims of serial rapists in other countries, while comparisons are also made between the victims of single-victim rapists and those of the serial rapist. Of great concern is, amongst others, that the results indicate that in South Africa a large number of victims of the serial rapist are girl children. Limitations of the research are indicated, while a suggestion for future research concludes the article.