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Rape – a Common Crime in South Afric

Rape has been found to be a common crime with studies showing that around one in five South African men has committed rape at least once//.

These shocking figures were compiled by the Gender Health Research unit of the country's Medical Research Council.

Interviews of 1,370 males of ages of 15 to 26 years revealed about 8 per cent who admitted to sexually violent behavior towards their spouse or other intimate partners, while 16.3 per cent admitted to having raped a non-partner or participated in some form of gang rape.

South Africa with a population of 47 million has been found to have one of the highest rates of rape worldwide, with women the main victims. According to researchers alcohol abuse, adversity in childhood, and educated mothers were linked to both partner and non-partner rape.

Recent national crime figures that were recently released showed a decline of 0.3 per cent in the number of rapes to 54,926 reported cases over the previous 12 months up to March 2006.

Women's rights groups say that official figures represent only a small percentage of cases because most rapes are not reported.

Over recent years, the number of rape cases involving infants and children have risen considerably in the country where there is an added threat of HIV/AIDS infection as well.

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