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How Rape Offenders View Their Crimes: A Study of Offenders in Selected Police Cells and the Central Prison in Kumasi, Ghana
The study focuses on how perpetrators of rape view and justify their crimes. 10 rape perpetrators and 8 prison and police formed the sample of the original study. This paper is based solely on the responses of the rape offenders to questions on their knowledge of the issue of rape as a crime; how they perceive the act of rape, their relationship to the victims, where the crimes occurred, and their general ideas and perceptions about their crimes.
It was found that although most offenders know what constitutes rape, they underestimated the gravity of their actions. They seemed to have been more concerned about satisfying their sexual urges at all costs and accepted the myth that men cannot control their sexuality.
They generally did not to accept responsibility for their crimes.
Regarding punishment, some respondents expressed a preference for the handling of rape cases within the community, suggesting that the sanctions for those cases were less severe than those punishments imposed by law enforcement agencies.
Lack of knowledge about the serious nature of rape as a crime was thought to be a contributory factor for the persistence of rape.
It was suggested that the public, particularly men should be educated about the criminal nature of the act. Also, traditional rulers, community elders and opinion leaders should be trained to deal with rape cases with more severity.
Finally, Public education about rape and its consequences should be done within the context of a general drive to create greater equality between women and men.
IFE PsychologIA Vol 9, No1 2001, pp. 193-205