Latest Crime Stats: Murder and Rape Cases Increase

Crime continues to plague our country with ever-increasing crime rates throughout all provinces.  The country’s crime statistics are based on incidents, and crimes people reported to police stations or those that police officers discover. The latest crime statistics reflect an upward trend in specific crime categories such as murder and sexual assault.


Murder Crime Statistics

The latest crime statistics were released for the period between October and December 2020. They included the crime trends during level 1 and level 3 of the adjusted lockdown, which the government implemented in mid-December. There was a 6.6%  increase in murder rates; 389 more people got killed than the previous financial year.  The province experienced the highest growth compared with the year-earlier, as it had a 13.7% increase in murder rates. The areas that saw a decline in murder cases were Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape.

The causes of these murder cases were due to factors like;

  • 193 murders were due to issues relating to domestic violence
  • The top four reasons for murders were robberies in households or businesses; some were due to arguments, mob justice incidents and gang-related murders.

Some common areas where murders occurred were public places, parking areas, open fields, and abandoned buildings, as 2 481 people got murdered in these areas.  Some 1 643 murders also happened at either the victims or the perpetrator’s home.  The third most common place where murders occurred were liquor outlets.



Sexual Assault Statistics

Sexual assault or sexual offenses saw an increase of 5%, with  12 218 people raped between October and December 2020. These figures are especially concerning when we take into account that there was a 181 case increase in this category in comparison to the previous reporting period. Over 4 900 rape cases occurred at either the victim’s or rapist’s home.  Five hundred seventy rape cases were domestic-related violence, and 23 victims of domestic-related rape were males, while female victim cases in this category were 547 rape cases.  The police stations that recorded the highest rape cases were Umlazi and Inanda in KwaZulu Natal and then Lusikisiki Police Station in Eastern Cape.



What To Do When Sexually Assaulted

Being sexually assaulted can be a traumatic experience that leaves victims with emotional, physical and psychological wounds.  It might be difficult to process what just happened to you and find methods to cope with the aftermath.  There are some recommended steps that each victim and survivor should take after being assaulted, and these include;


  1. Establish Your Safety

    When you have survived sexual assault, you must prioritize your safety as well as your well-being.  You might go through a stage of shock and feeling overwhelmed. It might be challenging to process all that you have gone through, but to cope with your trauma, you need to create a sense of safety and normalcy for yourself.  Try to use methods that had made you feel comfortable and safe when you experienced other stressful events in your life.


  1. Have A Support System

    When you have established some form of physical safety, you must gain emotional support from a person you feel you can trust.  There are many emotional challenges that you might experience after being assaulted, such as anxiety and dissociation. Having someone to talk to will ensure that they hear you and support you in maintaining safety feelings.  If you feel like you might experience victim-blaming and doubt from people you know and you are not ready to share your trauma with anyone, then you can reach out to Helplines. Some Sexual Assault Helplines you can call are;


  • TEARS Foundation: 010 590 5920
  • SAPS Emergency: 10111


Reaching out to Sexual Association Helplines can be beneficial for you as the trained operators will support and listen to your story without any judgement. They will provide you with added assistance like where to receive treatment and the information required to report the crime.


  1. Receive Medical Attention

    After being assaulted, you might not want to receive any medical attention, but it would be the best thing to do in such a situation.  You will be able to receive treatment for bodily injuries that you might have sustained and check your physical and sexual health.  Receiving medical attention will assist you by providing a Rape Kit which is a sexual assault forensic exam that collects DNA, blood samples, and any other evidence.  The Rape Kit could be beneficial when you choose to report the crime.  Some centres can freeze this evidence until you decide to use it to file a police report.


  1. Establish Healthy Coping Mechanisms

    You might want to avoid that the situation ever happened, but avoiding what happened will only stop the healing process from occurring.  The healthiest manner to cope with your trauma is by building beneficial coping methods such as journaling or meditating.  It might be not easy to establish those mechanisms on your own, and you might have to seek professional help through therapy.  It might give you the platform to better understand your emotions and seek ways to cope with them better.


  1. Look At Your Legal Options

    It can be challenging to file a report and press charges against the perpetrator, while for others, this might seem like the only option after the assault.  Those who are reluctant to do so might be afraid of the perpetrator or do not want to relive the trauma when they have to share details about the ordeal.  Regardless of how you feel, you have to remember that you have options and control what happens next.




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