Rape centres compromised: DA

By Drum Digital
21 August 2013

A lack of funding is compromising the effectiveness of Thuthuzela rape care centres, the DA said on Wednesday.

These centres provided crucial services for rape survivors and had been hailed as a shining example of best practice regarding rape survivor services, Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Helen Lamoela said in a statement.

"However, the poor operational rate and lack of funding has been compromising their effectiveness," she said.

In written reply to a parliamentary question, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said only 35 of the 51 department-run Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC) across the country were fully operational.

The department's current projected spending on the centres was R33.9 million a year, he said.

Lamoela said given the extensive services these centres were meant to provide this amount was "simply not enough".

"The shortfall in funding is likely to lead to diminished counselling capacity and would have detrimental effects on both individual rape survivors and South Africa's efforts to combat our nation's rape crisis."

Counselling services for rape survivors were a critical part of the healing process for both survivors and their families.

They helped rape survivors through the trial processes and interrupted cycles of abuse where children in abusive households could learn to become victims, or perpetrators of abuse as adults.

Continued counselling also ensured that survivors continued taking life-saving antiretroviral medication, Lamoela said.

-SAPA

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