Research Articles

Non-fatal injuries of interpersonal violence at the Leratong Provincial Hospital, South Africa

Saimen Amashnee, Gordon Guinevere, Govender Indiran
South African Family Practice | Vol 58, No 3 : May/June| a5664 | DOI: | © 2022 Saimen Amashnee, Gordon Guinevere, Govender Indiran | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 November 2022 | Published: 01 May 2016

About the author(s)

Saimen Amashnee, Department of Forensic Medicine, Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa
Gordon Guinevere, Forensic Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Govender Indiran, Family Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: Interpersonal violence is a global health issue. More than 1.6 million people die annually as a result of violence. Injured survivors suffer from a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health problems. The aim of this study is to describe the trends and profile of violence-related injuries from hospital records of an urban emergency department and crisis centre in South Africa.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted by reviewing patient files at Leratong Hospital. Relevant clinical information such as victim’s age and gender; time, day of hospital attendance; nature of injury; presence/absence of alcohol; and nature of weapon was extracted.

Results: Leratong Hospital manages many patients with injuries due to interpersonal violence throughout the year, with an increase in May, November and December. Higher numbers of patients present in the last week of the month, and on Saturdays and Sundays. Victims were predominantly male (64%), except for sexual assault where the victims were females. Females also suffered more blunt injuries than penetrating injuries. Blunt injuries were the most frequent type of injury although over the weekend males sustained more penetrating injuries than blunt injuries. Young males were the main victims of interpersonal violence.

Conclusion: This study highlights a trend where young adults, especially males, are noted to be significantly affected by interpersonal violence.


emergency unit; glass bottle injuries; interpersonal violence; non-fatal; sexual assault


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