How to minimise HIV risk if you have been raped

TEN STEPS A PERSON SHOULD FOLLOW AFTER BEING RAPED OR SEXUALLY ASSAULTED

1. Get to a safe place.

2. Tell someone you know and can trust.

3. Report the rape to the police as soon as you can. Ask a friend to accompany you to provide you with support.

4. Lay a charge if you choose to — the police cannot tell you whether or not it is correct to lay a charge. Ask for the station commander if the police on the charge desk are not listening to you.

5. You have the right to report the rape at any police station, no matter where the rape took place. If you can get to the police station close to where the incident took place, the police may have a better chance of gathering the evidence and catching the perpetrator.

6. Tell the police if you fear revenge or intimidation from the rapist and ask that the rapist is not allowed out on bail.

7. Write down the case number and the name and number of the police officer in charge of your case. Ask for a copy of your police statement. The police must put your case number on the J88 form, then stamp and sign it and give it to you.

8. Go to the nearest hospital, clinic, or Thuthuzela Care Centre as soon as possible. Do not wait longer than 72 hours.

Try not to eat or drink until you have seen a doctor. The doctor needs to collect samples from your body before you bath of shower in case you want to lay a charge. This is vital forensic evidence that will be used to prosecute the rapist.

9. Ask the healthcare worker or doctor about HIV prevention and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as well as about STI prevention and pregnancy risk.

10. The doctor will write his report on a J88 form, which is used in court.

Make two copies of the J88 form after the doctor has filled it out. One is for the police, the other for yourself.

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