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Help centre for sexual assault, GBV victims opened at Cape Town hospital

A Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) – a one-stop facility for survivors of sexual assault, gender-based violence and domestic violence – has been added to Victoria Hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town, to help reduce secondary victimisation and assist victims to build strong cases for successful prosecutions. Between April 2014 and March 2022, TCCs had serviced 263 476 victims, or an average of 91 victims daily.

Shamila Batohi, National Director of Public Prosecutions, said in TCC reported and prosecuted matters, the conviction rate for sexual offences had increased from 60% in 2010 to 76% in 2022, reports Cape Argus.

“The courts are increasingly giving long sentences for these offences, but the reality is we are not going to be able to investigate and prosecute ourselves out of this scourge. We need a much greater societal response,” she said.

The provincial Health and Wellness Department’s Forensic Pathology Services has recorded 255 women murdered through violent acts, with 104 due to gunshot wounds, 71 due to sharp objects and 80 from other causes so far this year. This month, 29 women died of unnatural causes.

The 24/7 centres are led by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit. They incorporate the Health and Wellness Department, Social Development Department, SAPS and NGOs.

The Wynberg branch is the 61st such centre in the country and the seventh at a hospital in the province. Rape or sexual assault cases can be reported directly to a TCC or police station. TCC staff provide immediate medical attention, counselling services and assist in opening a police case if the victim chooses to do so, and ongoing counselling and court preparation will also be arranged.

 

Cape Argus PressReader article – Victoria Hospital adds ‘gateway to justice’ (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Study's findings on rape survivors' long-term risk of HIV also has legal implications

 

Healthcare workers can play key role to help domestic abuse victims

 

MSF survey shows scant counselling services for SA's child rape survivors

 

Not a single rape kit used in Eastern Cape because of 'shortage’

 

Mounting concern over SA’s child and teen pregnancy crisis

 

 

 

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