By Jen Thorpe
Reporting a rape in South Africa is no small task. You must visit a police station and health facility for a case to be opened and forensic evidence to be collected. If your case is passed on to a prosecutor, you then have to participate as a witness in the trial. This process can be incredibly scary, long, and arduous. Most survivors have no idea how the justice system works, or what their role will be.
Enter Rape Crisis, champion of women’s rights for over 35 years based in Cape Town. They have released a virtual tour of the criminal justice system that you can explore in English, Afrikaans or Xhosa. The tour explores what happens at the police station, the health facility, and the court so that you can see what it looks like in these rooms, and learn more about your rights in the process. It also gives you an idea of the type of services that Rape Crisis offers in the form of counselling. You can also watch video interviews with service providers from these parts of the justice system to find out more about what happens.
This tour is an incredible resource for all, and comes at a critical time. Organisations like Rape Crisis are facing funding challenges that see them operating on reserve staff. At Rape Crisis, major staff retrenchments took place whilst they try to recover financially. They need your financial support, and it’s really easy to do so.
You can make a once off donation here:
|Name of Account:||Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust|
|Account number:||07 127 9865|
You can purchase one of their 1000 hearts where a monthly donation of your choice is debited from your account. Find out more here and check out my heart (#444).
You can also volunteer your time and services for them. Contact nazma at rapecrisis dot org dot za for more details.
We cannot allow organisations such as this to close down when in the past year 64 514 sexual offences were reported. Without such specialised and knowledgeable organisations, rape survivors will continue to have their rights ignored in South Africa.