Rape support in South Africa

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The rape statistics in South Africa are alarmingly high with a rape reported every 7 minutes. If we estimate the actual number of rapes that occur in South Africa on a daily basis where statistics show that a mere 1 in 25 cases of rape are reported. This would take the number of rape cases to over 3500 every day.

What is also very alarming is the potential to transmit the HIV virus during a rape, particularly in cases where there are multiple rapists and while all rape is violent, the brutality of recent rape cases increases the risk of contracting HIV or the transmission of HIV both to or from the victim but also between the rapists.

What we at HIV cover need to ask is why the number of reported rapes is so desperately low? 

The reason is that there are millions of rapists that are living among us that have gotten away with rape and may very well rape again. Unless we can encourage women who have been raped to report the cases, we will never get these criminals off the streets so let us examine the reasons that rape is not reported and then we will provide information and resources for rape victims that will put them in a position where they feel comfortable dealing with the rape, reporting the rape and offering counselling for rape victims in non threatening environments.

  1. Many women deny the fact that they were raped, their self esteem telling them that they deserved it.
  2. The fear of being an outcast in their community. (this is very prevalent in schools/universities and the work place).
  3. The humiliation of entering a police station to report a rape.
  4. The idea that they will not be believed.
  5. Fear of reprisals from the perpetrator

This is by no means a comprehensive list of reasons but some of the main reasons that women do not report rape in South Africa. The following article by the rape crisis center regarding rape trauma syndrome will give anyone who has been raped or knows of someone/suspects that someone they know has been raped a good idea of the symptoms to look out for, the kind of treatments they need and where to get support.

The overwhelming message from rape survivors is not to repress your feelings but to talk them through, every time you talk to someone about your ordeal you heal a little more. Keeping it all inside will make you sick and gives your rapist power over your life long after the incident. Get the help you need from people who care!

Rape Crisis Center Cape Town

LifeLine Crisis counselling all over South Africa

If you would like to add a counselling center, halfway house or support group, please send email to graham@weekend.co.za and we will update this list.

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