Perpetration of Gross Human Rights Violations in South Africa: Association with Psychiatric Disorders (Original Articles) (Report)

Perpetration of Gross Human Rights Violations in South Africa: Association with Psychiatric Disorders (Original Articles) (Report)

South Africa provides a unique laboratory for studying the perpetration of different forms of violence. During apartheid a range of acts of racial violence were perpetrated, including gross human rights violations (HRVs). However, both before and after apartheid there have also been significant levels of domestic and criminal violence. (1) Injuries were the second-leading cause of premature death and interpersonal injury and accounted for 14.3% of disability-adjusted life-years in South Africa in 2000, (2) with interpersonal injury predominating. (3) A survey in 1998 found that 2 in 1 000 South Africans had experienced a violent injury requiring medical treatment in the previous month, while 9 in 1 000 households had had a violent death in the previous year. (4) Community surveys have emphasised high levels of domestic and partner violence, (5-11) including sexual assault and rape. (12-16) Studies have suggested significant associations between perpetration of violence and mental illness. Although public perceptions of the link between disorders such as schizophrenia and violence are clouded by stigma, a systematic review found perpetration of violence and violence victimisation to be more common in persons with severe mental illness than in the general population. (17) The relationship among substance use, violence and victimisation is also well established, particularly the association between men’s substance use and perpetration of physical violence. (18,19) While associations between perpetration and antisocial traits (20-24) can be expected, there is also the less obvious possibility that many perpetrators have themselves been exposed to trauma (e.g. childhood abuse, marital violence, military combat), or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (16,24-30)

Perpetration of Gross Human Rights Violations in South Africa: Association with Psychiatric Disorders (Original Articles) (Report)

Perpetration of Gross Human Rights Violations in South Africa: Association with Psychiatric Disorders (Original Articles) (Report) | | 4.5