SAFETY TIPS: gender-based violence (GBV)

01/12/2022 | By Admin

The recent crime statistics painted a grim picture of how, from 1 July 2022 to 20 September 2022, 989 women were killed in South Africa. When comparing the 2022 statistics to that of the same period in 2021 there is a 10.3% increase in the number of women who were murdered. The statistics also indicated that 13 283 sexual offence cases were reported during 1 July 2022 to 20 September 2022.

The GBV situation in the country has reached boiling point and all South Africans together with NGOs, the police and government need to work together to fight against this scourge.

With the festive season upon us there will be an increase in the number of abuse and assault incidents against women and children.  Below are some tips on what you or a loved one should do should you be a victim of GBV:

  • If you are in immediate danger or are seriously hurt, contact the SAPS for urgent assistance. The police will assist in opening a case of rape or sexual assault and connect you to a medical professional and a trained counsellor, should you require one;
  • As soon as you can, get yourself out of danger and to a place of safety, or reach out to someone you trust who can assist and support you;
  • Consider receiving immediate medical assistance to ensure that you have not been seriously injured and, if needed, undergo a sexual assault forensics examination. Hospitals and clinics can also help you report the case if that is something that you wish to do.

Should you or a loved one be a victim of sexual assault or rape you can get assistance from Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) which are one-stop facilities that are mainly located at community hospitals or clinics that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy.

The process is:

Step 1: You can report a rape case directly to the SAPS or a TCC, that is based at a community clinic or hospital.

Step 2: TCC staff will assist you in getting immediate medical attention at the Centre.

Step 3: TCC staff will arrange counselling services at the Centre.

Step 4: TCC staff will assist you to open a case with the SAPS if you want to do so immediately or even at a later stage.

Step 5: TCC staff will arrange for ongoing counselling and court preparation, should the case go to trial.

BLSA monitor centre and data analytics manager Sharlain Moodley shares some tips on what you or a loved one be a victim of sexual assault or rape: