Police failing rape victims - rights group

2011-03-21 23:01

Johannesburg - The police are failing to promote the rights of rape victims by not following correct procedures, the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC) said on Monday.

"The police service routinely fails to follow correct procedures such as informing victims that they have the right to post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV transmission, and also to demand that the suspect be tested for HIV," TLAC spokesperson Lisa Vetten said in a statement.

These procedures were set out in the Sexual Offences Act passed in 2007. The act aimed to improve co-ordination between police, health workers and public prosecutors in dealing with rape cases.

A national working group on sexual offences was raising awareness of the act through the Shukumisa campaign. Research by the campaign's monitoring team showed many police stations did either not understand the act, or officers had not been trained in implementing it, Vetten said.

The research revealed that only half of 60 monitored stations had ready access to regulation forms on HIV testing of rape-accused, and information sheets for rape survivors about post-exposure prophylaxis and HIV testing.

"This is not about bureaucratic technicalities, it is about the very real impact these failures have on victims," Vetten said.

She called on the police to ensure all stations complied with the law and train officers to implement it.

  • Cameron - 2011-03-21 23:23

    Woman and children are raped far too frequently in SA. I don't believe the Police are capable of much (don't get me wrong - there are policemen and woman out there that are doing a very good job) There is just not enough respect for the law and life - and I am talking about the police, not the public. So how can the Police effectively fight crime if this is the situation. Guns being "lost", SAP members invloved in cash-in-transit heists, atm bombings, rapes, murders, corruption and intimidation. It all paints a grim picture, but all is not lost - yet. Get the right people to run SAPS - it is that simple.

  • CNA-LOL-BS - 2011-03-22 06:28

    During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to sexual violence on a massive scale, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe, by other civilians, and by soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), including the Presidential Guard. Administrative, military and political leaders at the national and local levels, as well as heads of militia, directed or encouraged both the killings and sexual violence to further their political goal: the destruction of the Tutsi as a group ... testimonies from survivors confirm that rape was extremely widespread and that thousands of women were individually raped, gang-raped, raped with objects such as sharpened sticks or gun barrels, held in sexual slavery (either collectively or through forced "marriage") or sexually mutilated. These crimes were frequently part of a pattern in which Tutsi women were raped after they had witnessed the torture and killings of their relatives and the destruction and looting of their homes. According to witnesses, many women were killed immediately after being raped. ... Rapes were sometimes followed by sexual mutilation, including mutilation of the vagina and pelvic area with machetes, knives, sticks, boiling water, and in one case, acid. During the trial, Rwandan women testified that they had been subjected to repeated collective rape by militia and that Akayesu made no effort to stop this horror, even though he had the power to do so. They spoke of witnessing other women being gang-raped and murdered while Akayesu stood by, saying to the rapists at one point "don't complain to me now that you don't know what a Tutsi woman tastes like."

      hf44083 - 2011-03-22 07:57

      BARBARIANS, I cannot imagine what these women lived through and how their lives have been forever changed, they would not have access to medication, counselling etc.

  • HomeGrown - 2011-03-22 06:47

    Does it come as a surprise? Remember what JZ did, and he walked free.

  • hf44083 - 2011-03-22 07:55

    The ability to have the suspect tested for HIV was available in 2008 when I was raped, the Act referred to in this article may have been drawn up in 2007 but at the time of my rape in April 2008 it was only expected to be passed by Parliament in about July 2008. By the time paperwork is done you will most likely have completed the 30 day ARV treatment course before even finding out the HIV status of the sustect. The police and State Hospital in my case were very good and I was given all sorts of medication for both HIV and other transmittable diseases that same evening the rape was reported and rape kit done at the Hospital. Fortunately I was in a position to deal with my own private GP immediately after the initital State Hospital visit. My case was also handled extremely well by trained FCS Unit police and I have always been grateful for their efficent professionalism, which resulted in an arrest 24 hrs after the event and a 35 yr sentence. All rape victims must be made aware of their rights, not everyone is educated on this subject.

      Perfume - 2011-03-22 20:43

      Sorry to read of your ordeal :(

      SuBla - 2011-04-21 08:45

      I am so sorry for what happened to you. It took a lot of courage to go thru all of this. I am glad the bastards got caught. Gos bless you hf44083.

  • Suny - 2011-03-22 07:57

    I have HIV and I am an engineer who works for the largest HIV dating and support site HIVromances . com. I have to tell you a secret, you can choose not to believe me. But the truth is that this site has more than 1,880,000 members and about 80% members are good looking in my estimation. Unfortunately, STD rates soar worldwide and most people with STDs don't even know that they have them. The government should grant more money for STD education to lower the rates of STD transmission.

      SuBla - 2011-04-21 08:48

      Thanks for the info Suny. People are too scared to even get tested. That is just so lame. They just assume that when someone is good looking they are STD free. The government does not do enough to encourage people to being tested.

  • cappuccino - 2011-03-22 11:40

    rapists and murderers should be punished by death because if they could do that to someone they have no respect for anything and anyone not even themselves they don't deserve the breath they breath!!!!!!!

  • rachel smith - 2011-03-23 03:09

    HIV positive singles face very difficult challenges when it comes to dating. They have to either date someone with HIV or disclose their HIV status. Disclosing to someone that's HIV- is a terrifying task and finding someone else with HIV. POZmingle. com helps you Dating and Finding Love for HIV Positive Singles.

  • Sameera - 2011-03-28 12:17

    Men who rape and molest innocent people should be castrated.

      Bob - 2011-03-30 01:42

      Agree 100%

      SuBla - 2011-04-21 08:48


  • Victor Paul - 2011-03-30 06:26

    Our justice system is also failing rape victims. My maids daughter was raped over two years ago by someone she knew at the time. The case have been postponed countless times and the poor mother and daughter dont know what to do to speed things up and get to the end so that the young girl can get on with her life. Everytime they have to go to court she is raped again by our incompetant and useless system!!! What to do?????

      SuBla - 2011-04-21 08:49

      I am so sorry about htis. I hope things work out and the bastards get what they deserve

  • Sword&Cross - 2011-04-21 09:27

    The racist ANC thanks you for your vote - REMEMBER 18 May, and the Creams of all these little boys and girls that they need to be introduced at an early age to satiate their tribal kingdom ways of underage child grant creation.NXAAAAAAAA Amandla, Kill a boer and rape a child a day!

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-06 14:43

    Newsflash: Police are failing more than rape victims.

  • sonya jonker - 2011-06-07 01:02

    It doesnt surprise me at all.

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