The increase in crime levels after 1994 triggered an interest in understanding what turns children into criminals, says writer and freelance journalist Beth Amato on The Eusebius McKaiser Show.
Amato has written a compelling investigative piece 'What turns some children into criminals? A look into the effects of emotional trauma'.
The article looks into the lives of South African youths who have committed crimes, as well as their emotional trauma.
She shared some of these stories and her findings.
Research shows that most offenders commit crimes from a young age.— Beth Amato, freelance journalist and writer
She says this caused her to ask what turns children into criminals.
*Sizwe is now a young man. He is 21. As a young child he did not know his father and his mother had sent him to live with his grandparents in Zonkizizwe in Katlehong. His grandmother in particular was overwhelmed, she had other grandchildren to look after. So from a young age he felt rejected and abandoned by his primary caregiver— Beth Amato, freelance journalist and writer
As people we are wired for attachment and connect, especially from our mother and our father. So he starts having attachment issues.— Beth Amato, freelance journalist and writer
What Don Pinnock has actually researched in Gang Land which is a book based in Cape Town, is that when there is no father figure the children tend to find solace and input from a gang boss.— Beth Amato, freelance journalist and writer
And so Sizwe began to engage in anti-social behavior., mugging people of their belongings. He had also started drinking quite young and smoking Dagga. What a psychologist would say is that Sizwe has suffered complex childhood trauma.— Beth Amato, freelance journalist and writer
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