We understand that you have probably just gone through the worst experience of your life, but we want you to know that we are here for you and there ARE help and support services available to you. We are also aware that many individuals do not know what to do in these situations so we have provided some steps that you can take to ensure your safety and recovery.
If you have just been raped:
1. Do not bath or wash yourself. Do not change your clothes.
2. If you collect any evidence from the scene of the rape (crime), do NOT put it in a plastic bag. Rather wrap it in newspaper.
3. Go to your nearest Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC). You can contact 0800-428-428 to find the nearest TCC to you. In KZN, these are located at:
– Edendale TCC
– Empangeni TCC
– Madadeni TCC
– Phoenix TCC
– Port Shepstone TCC
– Stanger TCC
– Umlazi TCC
4. You will be seen by trained forensic staff (a nurse or doctor), who will examine you and collect DNA evidence for the police to find and prosecute the offender.
5. Your DNA evidence will be put in a rape kit. The rape kit is sealed with a bar code (if it does not get sealed with a bar code it cannot be used as evidence).
6. You will receive the necessary medication called PEPs (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) to prevent sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STI/STD) as well as to prevent pregnancy. These also include ARVs (anti-retrovirals) to prevent the infection of HIV.
7. You MUST receive this medication within 72 hours in order for it to be effective – that is why it is very important to go straight to the Thuthuzela Care Centre.
8. Once the doctor has seen you and the medication has been given, the police can either be called to the Thuthuzela Care Centre to take your statement or you can go to your local police station.
9. The police will take your statement and fill out a form called J88 form. They will collect any evidence you have and put it in an evidence bag (this bag must also be sealed otherwise it cannot be used as evidence).
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!!!
- You have the right to ask for a certified copy of your statement given to the police, as well as the right to make a second statement within 21 days if you remember things or events at a later stage.
- You have the right to know your rapist’s HIV status.
- You have a right to insist that a female police officer or a male officer is present when making a statement and having evidence collected (if this would make you feel safer or more comfortable giving your statement).
- You have the right to have your statement taken in a private place.
- You have the right to report your rape at ANY police station.
It is important to speak out about your rape, and is the only way you will receive help. The next step after all of the above have been carried out, is to seek counselling in order to start healing on the inside. The Jes Foord Foundation offers free counselling to the rape survivor as well as affected family members in both English and Zulu. To book an appointment contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0861 333 449.
Call The National Gender Based Violence Helpline 0800 428 428