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Read our latest Annual Report
Message from the Chairperson: Primrose Mrwebi
In a country where levels of sexual violence remain high the vision of the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust could not be more relevant. Quite simply, it recognises the right of women to live free from violence and to have recourse to the law if this right is violated.
With social problems such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, HIV and substance abuse driving high rape statistics it is important that everyone sees the value of the organisation’s work in not only reaching a very high number of rape survivors but also holding government accountable for its promises to respond appropriately. The cost to society in dealing with high rates of rape is also very high as survivors struggle to function well in their jobs, or their studies or as parents.
My personal experience of Rape Crisis as the Board Chair has been one of finding the work we do incredibly interesting. I have learned so much from my fellow Trustees who are all committed and dedicated in their own professional lives with a diverse range of skills to offer in advising the director. The importance and value of the work of Rape Crisis cannot be overstated. If this work was not done thousands would go without comfort, without healing, without access to justice and without reclaiming their power.
Donors, grantmakers, members of the public and government officials reading this report should continue to fund and support this work, or if you have not yet begun then you should start to do so. I would like to end off with a vote of thanks to the Director, management team, staff and volunteers who all give so much of themselves to this work. Their contribution is truly amazing.
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What To Do If
Someone Raped You
Even if you don’t report the rape, you still have the right
to free treatment to prevent HIV within 72 hours of the rape.
GET TO A SAFE PLACE
Do this as soon as possible.
It may be very difficult for you to tell someone what has happened to you, but it’s important because this person can support your story and back you up in court.
DO NOT WASH YOURSELF
There might be hair, blood or semen on your body or clothes that can be used as evidence of the rape.
IF YOU ARE INJURED
Go straight to a hospital, community health centre or doctor.
REPORT THE RAPE
If you want to report the rape, go to the police station nearest to where the attack took place as soon as you can. Ask a friend or family member to go with you for support. Keep the name of the police officer in charge of your case and your case number.
You and Rape is the essential guide for rape survivors – providing insight into how to overcome physical and emotional injury, to practical advice about laying charges and the criminal justice system.
IF YOU’RE AFRAID
If you fear retribution or intimidation by the rapist/s, make sure the police are aware of this and ask that the rapist/s be not allowed out on bail.
A doctor will examine every part of your body to find and collect samples of hair, blood or semen. This is part of the police investigation to gather medical evidence of the crime.
Ask for pamphlets or booklets on rape and the number of a local counselling service to give you further support and advice about the police matter, court case and any other effects of the rape.
Whether or not you want to lay a charge, make sure that within 72 hours you take:
- The Morning After Pill (MAP) to prevent pregnancy;
- An HIV test and antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV infection;
- Antibiotics to prevent a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
In March 1973 I was gang raped while taking a short cut through a small park
Anne Mayne, the founder of the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, explains how and why she started the organisation.
One of the rapists threatened to kill me if I didn’t cooperate. Although I was not physically hurt, I was so traumatised that I had difficulty functioning normally for a long time afterwards.
At that time I was a political activist and well aware of how inhuman most of the South African police were. The idea of reporting what had happened to me was out of the question.
I sought medical help and received an antibiotic injection in case I had been exposed to an STD (the AIDS virus was not around then). I was extremely emotionally disturbed. My moods swung from almost paralysing depression to manic hyperactivity. I was hyper vigilant and suffered panic attacks. I decided to see a psychiatrist, who gave me tranquilizers. There was no trauma counselling.
My relationship with my parents was bad and I knew I would get no support from them. Apart from a few friends who I told, I struggled on alone. I was in such a bad state that I nearly committed suicide.
27 people will be sexually assaulted in the Western Cape today
Facts about rape
– and every other day of the year
Rape Crisis is committed to finding lasting solutions by:
Communities with high rape statistics can find solutions. Rape Crisis runs projects to promote awareness and safety, and supports community actions that address high rape rates.
Our schools programme helps build role models and leaders capable of influencing attitudes towards violence and rape.
We seek improvements within the Criminal Justice System, as well as on the level of law reform and policy making.
Over the past 10 years, Rape Crisis counsellors have gathered anonymous statistical data which allows us to identify trends.
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