Safe place to care for victims

2015-06-02 06:00
Provincial minister of health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo (third from left) officially opened the refurbished clinical forensic unit at Victoria Hospital, which caters for rape victims.

Provincial minister of health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo (third from left) officially opened the refurbished clinical forensic unit at Victoria Hospital, which caters for rape victims.

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Victoria Hospital’s clinical forensic unit has received a much-needed makeover so that Rape Crisis counsellors can give counselling to survivors there.

The unit can now comfortably cater for rape victims.

Donors from the Inner Wheel Clubs of Tafelberg, Claremont and the Waterfront, designer Elize Gazeau, individual donors and the Rape Crisis organisation donated R45 000 toward the three-month renovation project.

One donor from the Inner Wheel Clubs of Tafelberg, Maxie Christen, says she and another member raised their donations by selling the club’s cookbook.

Western Cape health minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, thanked the donors at the official opening of the renovated unit on Monday last week.

“The unit, which handles about 160 cases per month, of which 60% include rape victims, focuses on forensic issues related to accidents, victims of rape, emergency cases and the medico-legal management of survivors of sexual offences of an area covering 22 police stations in Cape Town,” says Marianne Tiemensma, the unit’s forensic doctor.

The unit has been in operation since 2006, and offers a 24-hour service to patients who seek healthcare relating to accidents, sexual assault, injuries and trauma. “Most of our survivors from sexual offences are children, teenagers and young adult females, and we are able to offer counselling via our Rape Crisis counsellors after receiving a health grant last year September,” says Tiemensma.

She says to care for a rape survivor is a sensitive procedure, and “we follow a strict process of examination when the survivor visits the unit”.

The survivor is seen to by the unit’s staff, and offered counselling by the Rape Crisis counsellor. After that a medical doctor and nursing staff attend to the survivor

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