Author: Prof Shanaaz Mathews

Publisher: Children's Institute, UCT

Suggested Citation: Abrahams N, Mathews S, Lombard C, Martin LJ, Jewkes R (2017) Sexual homicides in South Africa: A national cross-sectional epidemiological study of adult women and children. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186432.


The rape and murder of women and girl children is a distinct form of gender-based violence that combines two of the most extreme forms of violence against women and children. This study found that 494 of women murdered and 104 of the child murders in 2009 were linked to rape at the time of their murder. Rape-murder is therefore not a rare event in South Africa – the rape-murder rate for adult women is similar to the overall global murder rate of adult women.