Police issue rape warning

2016-04-26 06:00

Due to several rape cases that have been reported, Steenberg police are warning the community on how to protect themsleves if in that situation.

People are urged to remember that they have the right to say no, says Warrant Officer John Bartlett.

Sexual offences include sex without consent, unwanted sexual touching, or being forced to engage in humiliating sexual activity.

Steenberg police advise residents to take precautions.

On a date:

. Do not allow anyone to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Be firm and clear and say no.

. Do not leave a party or social event with someone you do not know or have just met – say no.

. Ask friends for help when someone ignores you when you say no.

. Most rape victims know the rapist. You have the right to say no.

In a case of rape:

. Try not to panic. Common sense is your best defence.

. You cannot always defend yourself and your resistance may cause serious injury.

. If the attacker is dangerous, cooperate and try to negotiate – submission is not consent.

. Try and remember what the attacker looks like – his age, race, height, hair colour, scars, tattoos, clothes, voice, jewellery.

. Scream, yell, blow your whistle or run away if you possibly can.

. Do not bath or change your clothes after an attack – keep all the evidence so that it can be used by the police for further investigation Report the crime to a police station straightaway or call 10111.

After a rape:

Every victim of rape responds differently, but it is likely that you will benefit from help.

You may feel:

. dirty and want to wash repeatedly – don’t wash as this may contaminate evidence.

. scared and afraid to go out – request trauma counselling.

. that it is your fault and that you are guilty – no one has the right to have sex with you without your consent.

. you cannot sleep, have nightmares, cannot eat, cannot stop crying or you want to forget it as quickly as possible and get on with your life. None of these responses is unusual or unnatural – remember, there is always someone to help you.

. No-one has the right to force you into sexual activity, no matter what your relationship with this 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.

What can we all do to help?

. Join community-based Victim Support initiatives and be trained as a volunteer.

. Report rape – and help others to report rape.

. Do not protect rapists – do not hide them in your home or community; tell the police about them.

. Bring up your boys to be real men – real men respect women and do not rape.

Who can you contact?

. Victim Support programmes, psychologists, counsellors, health care or social workers, employers, friends, family or church members – ask the police official dealing with your case to recommend someone to help you.

. Contact your local police station (Steenberg at 021 702 9000);

. SAPS Emergency Services: 10 111

. SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10 111

. Women Abuse Helpline: 0800 150 150

. Child Line: 0800 055 555

. AIDS Helpline: 0800 012 322 or 011 725 6710

. Safeline: 0800 035 553

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