SAPS advice to remember

2016-02-10 06:00

ITS a sad fact that sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault are frequent occurrences. The Greytown Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit has issued the following information which includes preventative action and if sexually assaulted, what action to take.

Sexual offences are defined as “acts involving sex without consent, unwanted sexual touching, or being forced to engage in humiliating sexual activity”.

Prevention - vulnerability increases:

• in dark and deserted places at night;

• if you do not lock your car doors and close your windows;

• if you talk to strangers;

• if your vehicle is faulty and you have to stop for help;

• be aware of your surroundings - be alert at traffic lights and stop streets;

• walk close to the curb and face on-coming traffic;

• try and keep to well-lit areas or where there are people;

• do not hitch-hike and do not pick up hitch-hikers;

• keep a whistle with you and blow it if you need help.

At home:

• do not allow a stranger into your home - ask for an identity document or phone his or her office to check their identity;

• invest in the best locks and security;

• know your neighbours and together plan ahead for how you will respond in a crisis;

• know your local police station officers and discuss safety matters with them; and

• become involved with local crime prevention efforts.

On a date

• Do not allow anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.

• Do not leave a party or social event with someone you do not know.

• Ask friends for help if someone ignores you when you say “no”.

In a case of rape

• Try not to panic.

• You cannot always defend yourself and your resistance may cause injury

• If the attacker is dangerous, co-operate and try to negotiate.

• Try and remember what the attacker looks like.

• Scream or run away if you possible.

• Do not bath or change your clothes after an attack - keep all the evidence so it can be used by the police.

• Report the crime to the SAPS straight away - go to the police station or phone 10111 or 08600 10111

After a rape, you may feel:

• dirty and want to wash repeatedly;

• scared and afraid to go out;

• that it is your fault and that you are guilty; or

• you cannot sleep, have nightmares, cannot eat, cannot stop crying or that you want to forget it as quickly as possible and get on with your life.

None of these responses are unusual or unnatural - remember that there is always someone to help you.

What we can do to help

• Join community-based victim support initiatives - be trained as a volunteer.

• Report rape, and help others to report rape.

• Do not protect rapists - tell the police about them.

• Bring up your boys to be real men - real men do not rape.

• Contact your local police station or SAPS Emergency Services 10111, Greytown Op 911: 033 417 2911.

• SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, 118 Pine Street, Greytown, on 033 413 9035, Lieutenant Keshni Budloo on 082 411 6647.

• SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111.

• Women Abuse Helpline 0800 150 150.

• Childline 0800 055 555.

• Aids Helpline 0800 012 322.

You have the right to say “no”.

No one has the right to force you into sexual activity, no matter what your relationship with that person is.

This means no one can force you to have sex, or touch you in a sexual way without your consent, or force you to perform sexual activity you find unpleasant or humiliating.

Remember - a sexual assault is not your fault.

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