Community violence and PTSD in selected South African townships.J Interpers Violence. 2004 Jun; 19(6):727-42.JI
Given the high rates of crime in South Africa's townships, nonpolitical violence out-side the home and its psychological impact on women were investigated within two samples, the primary a help-seeking sample and the secondary a community sample. In the help-seeking sample, two thirds of the women reported having experienced several traumatic events outside the home. Those women displayed a median of 9 PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms, with nearly half meeting all criteria for PTSD. In the community sample, 40 women of color were interviewed at a community festival for women, and again two thirds reported having experienced several traumatic events outside the home during the previous year. These women displayed a median of 8.8 PTSD symptoms, with none meeting all criteria for PTSD. South Africa's distinctive culture of violence is discussed as context for understanding issues of community violence and PTSD among women in its minority townships.