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Rape committed during house robbery: a grounded theory analysis

House robbery and subsequent rape are under-researched crimes collectively and often treated differently in the field of social sciences. The relation between these two crimes needs to be addressed urgently. Therefore, this study aimed to explore motivational factors for committing house robbery and subsequent rape.
This study adopted a qualitative research approach, guided by the Grounded Theory (GT), as a research design. The theoretical sampling was adopted for DCS clinical psychologists, social workers and incarcerated offenders in the Two (02) selected Correctional Centres in Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces of South Africa, all subjected to semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Moreover, the GT methods of data analysis, aided by the MAXQDA software were used, including open coding (Breaking of textual data into discrete parts), axial coding (Drawing of connections between codes), and selective coding (Selection of one central category that connects all the codes from the analysis and captures the essence of this study). The researcher generated codes from the verbatim expressions of the participants. The codes were categorised into open, axial and selective coding using the MAXQDA software. The codes in selective coding (Categories) were explained and supported by the reviewed literature studies on this subject. The findings of this study revealed that in most instances house robbery results in rape. The notable contributing factors to this phenomenon have been proven to be an opportunity, unstable family background, substance use, aggression, dominance, vulnerability and mob mentality. For the contribution to the body of knowledge; a conceptual model, consisting of Five (05) components, namely: 1) Socialisation, 2) Sexual violence curriculum, 3) Liquor regulations, 4) Ammunition registrations; and 5) Target hardening asformulated to effectively respond to the mentioned crimes. This study recommends that positive socialisation from an early age of male children is reported crucial for the development of pro-social factors; this can possibly curb these crimes. It is also forwarded that curriculum development should infuse sexual violence from basic-to-tertiary education. Equally, there is a dire need for the regulation of South African liquor available laws and policies with regard to the supply and sale of liquor as shared by most participants (Especially, the incarcerated offenders) who positively highlighted alcohol intoxication during the commission of these crimes. Furthermore, registrations of ammunition and the creation of a database are highly sought, firearm accessibility should also be revisited to redress the past injustices as cited as one of the contributory factors to irregular availability of firearms and other related weapons. The opportunistic circumstances relating to the commission of these crimes should be relooked, by closely focusing on upgrading security measures for the community, Criminal Justice System (CJS), public and private Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), including technological advancement and improvements, as well as the induction of intelligence-led operations, and closer collaboration, interaction and information exchange, among others.
Keywords: Gauteng Province, Grounded Theory [Analysis], House robbery, Limpopo Province, Subsequent rape, offenders


Full Name
Dr Lekgau Khomotjo