Im­pact of street rob­beries put in the spot­light

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Chi­som Jen­nif­fer Okoye

While the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies (ISS) has sug­gested that street rob­beries would in­crease if it con­tin­ued to be over­shad­owed by other crimes, a psy­chol­o­gist has warned of the im­pli­ca­tions that it will have on an in­di­vid­ual’s men­tal health.

The ISS re­cently re­vealed that street rob­beries af­fected far more peo­ple than any other rob­beries

Re­searchers Lizette Lan­caster and Stu­art Mbanyele said in their re­port that there were an av­er­age of 220 street rob­beries a day be­tween 2018 and 2019 and that crim­i­nals “se­lec­tion is of­ten based on the avail­abil­ity of vul­ner­a­ble tar­gets and quick es­cape routes”.

They added that de­spite the se­ri­ous­ness of street rob­beries, most go un­re­ported.

Psy­chol­o­gist Vanessa Barnes said while the preva­lence of crime led to peo­ple be­com­ing de­sen­si­tised to the trauma that re­sulted from the ex­pe­ri­ence, un­treated trauma could re­sult in post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, ag­gres­sion and dis­so­cia­tive iden­tity dis­or­der.

She said that sta­tis­tics re­vealed that up to 25% of peo­ple could suf­fer from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, and its associated dis­or­ders.

It is es­ti­mated that of this as­sessed fig­ure of six mil­lion peo­ple, 58% of these cases are a re­sult of wit­ness­ing or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing crime.

Only 27% of South Africans re­port­ing se­vere men­tal ill­ness re­ceive treat­ment. This is not only as a re­sult of peo­ple not recog­nis­ing their trauma or not want­ing to seek help, but also as a re­sult of a lack of ac­cess to men­tal health­care ser­vices.

Barnes said if peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enced any form of trauma, it was im­por­tant that they seek pro­fes­sional help.

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