ROAD TO JUSTICE: THE RAPE TRIAL – BOOKLET
This guide is a comprehensive booklet provided to court supporters who assist survivors going through the process of a rape trial. The Court Support Project was put in place by the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust in 2007 with the aim of supporting rape survivors so that they take their trials to completion. Rape survivors often have no prior experience of the court system, are not sure of the processes that will be followed, of who the different role players in court are and, most importantly, what is expected of them when they are called upon to testify. The court supporter shares all of this information not only with the rape survivor but also any family members that are there to support her or to testify as witnesses in the case.
The booklet forms part of a larger project that includes the training of community based volunteers as court supporters who are then based on site at regional courts. Rape Crisis offers this service in collaboration with the National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Social Development and as an adjunct to their three counselling services in Khayelitsha, Observatory and Athlone. Through the Road to Justice Project Rape Crisis also recruits and trains counsellors based at two Thuthuzela Care Centres in Cape Town seeing in excess of 5 000 rape survivors per year through all of these services combined. In addition Rape Crisis trains volunteers based at police stations around the province in how to support rape survivors coming to report rapes at their Community Service Centres.