13 sexual violence cases reported at UCT in 4 months

2016-05-26 05:52
The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

The University of Cape Town's upper campus. (iStock)

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Cape Town - A sexual assault response team established by the University of Cape Town has reviewed 13 cases of sexual violence so far this year.

The university's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) states that it is a "collaborative collective that is designed to empower the university community with the knowledge and skills to effectively respond to and prevent sexual violence on campus”.

The team, with the assistance of the Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO), has looked into 13 cases of sexual violence since the beginning of the year, a report has revealed.

That is at least three cases of sexual violence every month. This does not account for the cases that have not been reported.

Five survivors are female students and one male survivor is also a UCT student. Five of the perpetrators were friends, acquaintances or social media friends of the survivors.

Twelve of the cases of sexual violence were reported as rape, while one was reported as sexual harassment.

In March, police arrested a 35-year-old man dubbed the "Rhodes Memorial perpetrator", who was suspected of committing several incidents of sexual violence, News24 reported.

He was charged with at least one of the rapes and police suspected his involvement in several others that had taken place in the Rhodes Memorial vicinity.

The task team report states that the suspected Rhodes Memorial perpetrator is connected to at least three cases of rape.

Six cases on campus

A total of six cases of rape took place on the UCT campus. Four of those are said to have been committed in residences, while one of the alleged perpetrators sexually assaulted a survivor in his office.

The single case of sexual harassment also took place on campus, in a residence study room.

The SART hopes to gain more information about sexual violence cases in order to improve support for survivors.

The team highlighted an incident where one survivor was reportedly told to take a bath and go to sleep after reporting a case of sexual violence. In that light, the SART wants to ensure first respondents are aware of the importance of preserving evidence.

The team said it is committed to working with campus student wellness services to effectively and thoroughly deal with sexual violence, support survivors using counselling services and the law to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

The full report can be read here.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  gender violence

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