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Raped three times by the age of 16, Buyiswa felt utterly alone with nowhere to turn...

At the age of six, Buyiswa was home with chicken pox when she was raped by her step-brother, who was looking after her while her mom was at work. He told the little girl that he would kill her mother if she told anyone what he’d done – and that no one would believe her anyway. Terrified, she kept quiet.

At twelve, she was raped at knife point by a stranger as she was walking home one day. All Buyiswa wanted to do was block out the attack. She cleaned herself up and carried on as if nothing had happened. She didn’t even tell her mother.

At sixteen, she was repeatedly gang raped by an ex boyfriend and his friend. Who could she tell? She’d gone willingly to the boy’s house, never imagining what was to come. So again, she kept quiet.

Many years later Buyiswa found her way to Rape Crisis and got the support she needed. Today, she is a strong young woman and a proud activist who speaks out against sexual violence.

But there are many other girls – and boys and men – who don’t get the help or the justice they need. Who despair as their rapists get off scot-free. Who are too terrified to talk. Who blame themselves, and suffer shame. Who struggle with the symptoms of trauma.

Please will you help us reach them, by making a contribution towards our work.

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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.

  1. GET TO A SAFE PLACE

    Do this as soon as possible.

  2. TELL SOMEONE

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. IF YOU ARE INJURED

    Go straight to a hospital, community health centre or doctor.

  5. 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 & Rape books

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.

  1. 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.

  2. FORENSIC EXAMINATION

    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.

  3. GET SUPPORT

    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.

  4. GET TREATMENT

    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 tranquillisers. 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.

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27 people will be sexually assaulted in the Western Cape today
– and every other day of the year

Facts about rape

PREVENTING RAPE

Rape Crisis is committed to finding lasting solutions by:

BUILDING SAFER
COMMUNITIES

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.

PEER
EDUCATION

Our schools programme helps build role models and leaders capable of influencing attitudes towards violence and rape.

ADVOCACY FOR
CHANGE

We seek improvements within the Criminal Justice System, as well as on the level of law reform and policy making.

RESEARCH
DATABASE

Over the past 10 years, Rape Crisis counsellors have gathered anonymous statistical data which allows us to identify trends.

Find Us

23 Trill Road, Cape Town, 7925
335A Klipfontein Rd, Silvertown, Cape Town
89+Msobomvu Dr, Village 1 South, Cape Town,7784

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