Road to Justice

We strive for better support services for survivors of rape, both prior to entering, and within, the Criminal Justice System. Through minimising secondary victimisation and improving conviction rates, we encourage more women and men to report rape.


Court Support

Court Support is a private conversation or session held between a client and a Court Supporter about the client’s thoughts and feelings on being at court and the court process (or justice system) the client is about to undergo; a client can be a survivor or a witness of sexual violence. During a court support session the client is afforded an opportunity to ask or talk about concerns they have; but without discussing the details of the case.

Court support offers the following to a client

A private conversation to move forward

  1. Being supported by a trained Court Supporter who is sensitive to the needs of the client
  2. The session takes place in a separate office which offers confidentiality and a safe space for the client
  3. Checking how the client feels and provision of emotional care
  4. Information about the court process the client is present for on the day; this could be a consultation or a trial
  5. Explanation on what the client’s role will be during the court process
  6. Information about other role players of the court
  7. If the client wishes, the Court Supporter can go inside the court with her or him to support
  8. Thereby being a physical representation of comfort and support for the client inside the court
  9. Court support is available before and after the client goes for consultation or trial
  10. Court support after a consultation or trial is for the client to reflect on their experience and to discuss a way forward for coping and persevering throughout the process.


Our court support services are readily accessible

Our Rape Crisis clients who may or may not be presenting in our 5 courts can attend a Pre-Trial Consultation. The pre-trial consultation is a complementary session to court support but takes place in our three offices: Athlone, Khayelitsha and Observatory. In pre-trial consultation the client is also emotionally and practically supported for the court process; in addition there is concerted focus on developing coping methods on how to manage the whole court process.

Our court support services are readily and easily accessible to clients presenting at court to address their identified needs for support and information. Clients are likely to develop anxiety and may experience courts as intimidating; in addition are likely to not have adequate information about what process and experience awaits them.

We believe a client who receives court support will have been empowered with information to know what their court process entails, what will be expected of her or him; and the client will be emotionally prepared to give a strong testimony and see the case through to completion.

The envisioned impact and flow of events through court support is an emotionally and practically supported client who is able to give a strong testimony which may result in a conviction; thereby encouraging more reporting by clients but deterring perpetration of sexual violence and creation of safer communities for all of us.

Anti rape strategy

Thuthuzela Care Centres

A Thuthuzela Care Centre is a one stop facility that has been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti rape strategy.

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