Rape Crisis community activists and court supporters are all volunteer facilitators trained by the organisation in a challenging and motivating six week process. A team drawn from volunteers in Athlone, Khayelitsha and Observatory are lead by a professionally trained staff member who supports, teaches and coordinates the court supporters in their work with survivors taking cases to trial through regular meetings, supervision groups and ongoing training sessions. She is assisted in her work by two supervisors based at court who are experienced Rape Crisis volunteers.
The aim of these areas of work is to give survivors the knowledge and information they need to deal with the enormous difficulties in our justice system, to improve the organisation’s relationships within the Criminal Justice System and to advocate for change within the system as well as on the level of law reform and policy making. Since the passing of new legislation in December 2007 Rape Crisis has focused on the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act with an emphasis on the importance of psychosocial care in the successful resolution of a trial, the long delays experienced by survivors and several interesting features in the 58 new offences created in the Act. Rape Crisis s working with other NGO members of the National Working Group on Sexual Offences to develop training materials on the new Act and to take these as far afield as possible.