How to get help when you have been a victim of rape

How to get help when you have been a victim of rape

Here are eight steps you need to take after you have been a victim of rape. 

Rape/ iStock

According to News24, rape is on the rise in South Africa. 

In his recent address, Police Minister General Bheki Cele revealed that 10,006 people were raped between April and June 2021.

"This is an increase of 4,201 cases, amounting to a 72.4% increase, compared to the skewed previous reporting period," he said. 

Victims of rape are left to deal with the aftermath.

READ: Girl shares horrific story of being raped by seven men

Ensuring that justice is served is important. Not only is it the right thing to have the perpetrator pay for his crimes, but it can also help prevent another woman from becoming a victim. 

Steps to take when you have been raped: 

Tears, a Non-Profit organisation specialising in the assistance and support network for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, gives the following advice: 

- Do not wash yourself or comb your hair. This can remove the physical evidence of the rape which can be collected by doctors to help your case. 

- Do not change your clothes or throw away your clothes. Rather put them in a paper bag. 

"There might be hair, blood or semen on your body or clothes that can be used as evidence of the rape," states the organisation. 

Only change your clothes and wash after you have been examined by your doctor. He/she will use a rape kit to collect hair, semen, clothing fibers, and other evidence of the attacker's identity.

- Do not clean up anything at the site of the assault.

- Get to a safe place. If possible, head to the nearest police station or call the authorities if you have sustained injuries. 

- Talk to someone who can be your witness, either someone who saw what happened or family or friends you trust. Remember that this person will be your witness and she or he might need to make a statement at the police station. 

- Report the matter to the police. You will be asked to write down a statement explaining what happened. Remember to ask for a copy of your statement and get the investigating officer's contact details and case number. 

- Go to the hospital or doctor to get medical help. Doctors will prescribe to you birth control treatment and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. 

- Seek professional help from a counsellor. Rape is a traumatic experience that will affect your mental health. It is advisable to talk to someone who can help you deal with the pain you have experienced. 

READ: Crime stats: Murder, rape on the rise in Gauteng

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @Tunatura

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