Dr Amelia Kleijn, a researcher and an independent social worker in private practice, has conducted a series of in-depth interviews, over three years, with ten men in maximum-security prisons around South Africa, all of whom were serving long sentences for raping children younger than three.
Dr Kleijn will present her findings of the study at the seminar entitled Why do some men rape babies?, hosted by the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) at the University of Johannesburg. The seminar, to be held at the Faculty of Humanities Common Room (C Ring 319) at the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Thursday, 20 February 2014, is scheduled from 16:00 to 18:00.
The main aim of the study was to explore the men’s psychosocial histories, and the factors that compelled them to behave so violently towards particularly young children. Dr Kleijn’s findings include, amongst others, that these men experienced childhood without positive role models or mentors in their lives, reflecting their lack of social and community cohesion; that these perpetrators’ rape of young children, was motivated by the need for revenge against men and women who were not necessarily related to the young victims; and that these men’s childhoods were associated with extreme forms of maltreatment.
In addition, Dr Shaheda Omar, the Director of the Teddy Bear Clinic, will be the discussant at the seminar.