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What to do when raped

11 years ago | 23855 Views
Here's what you need to know about rape to enable you to report it properly.

What is the definition of rape?
According to our courts it is intentional, unlawful sexual intercourse with a man, woman, boy or girl-child without his/her consent. This includes marital rape, date rape, anal rape and penetration with a foreign object.

What should you do if you were raped?
You will want to take a bath or shower after the incident, but whatever you do DON'T!! Crucial evidence will be lost. Doctors can take skin samples from under your nails or find DNA evidence in your body.
You must go to a police station as soon as possible. You have the right to request to speak to a woman police officer in a private place.
You may also go directly to a hospital or a district surgeon. Be careful to go to your GP, many of them are not trained to examine rape survivors and this may cause unnecessary run-around.
Make sure the doctor tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The doctor should also provide emergency contraception, antibiotics and antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection.
You have a choice to either just report the incident or to lay a formal charge. Be sure to ask for a reference number and a case number.

What if you do not want to lay a charge?
If you decide not to lay a charge, you can simply report the rape to the police and request no further investigation. They must record it in their occurrence book (OB) and give you the OB number.

What happens if I decide to lay a charge?
You do not have to lay a charge immediately, but it is highly recommended that you do it as soon as possible. The quicker you do it, the easier it is to get evidence that could be crucial in making an arrest.

You can also ask the police to come to your home, if you do not want to go to the station.

You must inform the police officer if you have been drinking or have taken any drugs.

Take someone you trust with you to the police station. You have every right to ask to speak to a female police officer.

When you report the incident, you must tell the police exactly what happened to you. Every small detail can help them. If you are very upset, the police will take a short statement from you and take a longer statement later on.

You are allowed to make the statement in your home language. Be sure that you are happy with the statement, before you sign it. Remember that the court will question any changes that you make to the statement after you signed it. You may ask for a copy of your statement.

Ask for your case number – you will have to use this number if you have any questions about your case later on.

After you made your statement, the district surgeon will examine you.

What happens if they catch your attacker?
If the alleged rapist is arrested, there will be an identity parade. You will have to point him out, but you do not have to touch him. Most police stations have one-way glass, so he will not be able to see you.

There is a good chance that he will be released on bail. You have the right to attend the bail hearing and give evidence about why you think he should not be released.

Bail should not be granted if:
He raped you more than once.
You were raped by more than one person and they were in it together.
He already has more than 2 rape charges against him.
He knew he had HIV/AIDS.
You are under 16.
You are made vulnerable by a physical disability.
You are mentally ill.
He inflicted grievous bodily harm during the rape.

Who can I call?
There are various organizations that help with counseling.

Stop Women Abuse: 0800 150 150
Rape Crisis Cape Town: +27 (0)21 447 1467
Content, compliments of Rape Crisis Cape Town

Want to know more about your rights on this and other topics? Go to

Are you a victim of rape, or do you know of someone who is? Share your advice in the box below.
5 Mzwazwa
Tags: Raped


Comment as Anonymous Submit
Anonymous user 11 years
Translate these ides into local languages and give them to advocacy groups to distribute to potential rape victims who can not access the wires! Most wire readers already have some good idea what to do but rape occurs more frequently to people with no access to the wires!
Anonymous user 11 years
Mzwazwa, Mzwazwaza, Mzwazwa kaNkoviya!
Uphetheni ngomlomo?
Ngiphethe amasi omntwana!
Uwasa kobanina?
Ngiwasa kozankelo, uNkelu kaNkovana!
Gqi, gqi, gqi, ngemva kweguma!
Ngelakobani na?
NgelakoMaduna uMaduna kaMalanga
Qedisa weMzwazwa, sengiyikhohliwe le inkondlo!
Anonymous user 11 years
But what has that poem got to do with rape?
Anonymous user 11 years
Thula wena. Awazi!
Anonymous user 11 years
Let Mzwazwa complete that poem! We want it!
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