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Break cycle of violence

By Sowetan Editorial | 2012-10-30 07:51:01.0

STUDIES that have come out of the recent annual Institute for Security Studies Crime Conference indicate that the cycle of violence in this country must not be left to the police and criminal justice system to eradicate from our communities.

Dr Amelia Kleijn, a social worker with experience in dealing with perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence, made sobering revelations about the psychological profiles of child rapists. South Africa has gained notoriety as one of the leading countries when it comes to rape post-1994.

The famous baby Tshepang rape case in 2002, when the little girl was 9 months old, shocked the whole country and highlighted the desperate plight of child victims of rape.

That a grown man could rape a defenceless infant believing the act would cure him of HIV revolted us all and made us sit up as a nation and question the moral degeneration such crimes exposed.

Over the years that memory is resurrected every time a child rape case is reported.

Kleijn's research points to some of the reasons why such depraved men rape kids.

The lack of positive role models in these men's lives contributes to their intense feelings of anger and rejection.

Not all men who grow up in abject poverty and without the influence positive male role models turn out to be rapists.

But Kleijn's observations highlight the fact that it is in the homes that the circle of violence will be stopped. A home is a foundation where values that influence behaviour are built.

Broken homes and parents' negligence in taking care of their children and to instil a moral compass to guide their actions, continues to breed social psychopaths.

These social misfits do not feel that they belong to society and grow up with a keen desire for revenge that manifests itself in criminality.

The psyche of violence in black communities was also documented in a study noting that local men are likely to die from stabbing rather than natural causes, highlighting once again the vortex of violence that can suck in black lives.

These high levels of violence are also regularly manifested in the high number of femicides in South Africa.

Parents must know that the onus is on them to produce upstanding citizens and not pass off this important duty to teachers, ministers, television and the Internet.

All parents must ask themselves pertinent questions on what kind of children we are raising. Moral regeneration in our homes is what is needed to rid society of this scourge.