Citizen. Speak. Amplify.

Izwi Lami: Reporting rape when the police don’t take you seriously

Despite rape being a serious problem in South Africa, some police officers still don’t know how to treat rape survivors properly.

After being raped at knife point at the end a party, Thola* went to her nearest police station to report the attack. But instead of being attended to compassionately, she was made to wait for two hours in the community service centre then had to give her report at an open counter in front of everyone in the room.

Worse still, the officer on duty then refused to take the case, telling her instead, “Just go home, get some sleep, sober up and come back in the morning”.

It was only after Thola phoned her father, who came to the police station and complained, that the officer agreed to open a case and take her to a forensic facility to receive medical attention.

Unfortunately, stories like Thola’s are not uncommon as some police officers are not trained in the correct procedure for reporting sexual assault or rape and many survivors do not know their rights.

The Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa sets out a number of rights, including the rights to:

  • report the crime if someone has raped you;
  • give and receive information about the rape;
  • be treated with respect for your dignity and privacy by all members of the criminal justice system.

The police officer on duty is legally obliged to take your report. They cannot turn you away if you have been drinking, according to the time of day or night, how long ago the crime was committed or where the rape happened.

*Name has been changed

1 Comment
  1. Henry Price Jr. says

    comrades frequency of rape plus how its occurrence is treated by police makes it clear far to many Buntu in South Africa have loss their humanity. I know it is my duty to bring it to you all attention maybe that will motivate you all to take one necessary step it will take to recover that humanity. That one step is to care enough about your fellow Buntu where rape is at issue plus act in accordance as if your life plus lives of your members depended on it. Who know for sure. At some moment it might. Buntu people of South Africa loss much of their humanity plus tend to hold to a position of trials of life should be unnecessarily made tough to find out if you worthy of life. Well this is what colonialists of Apartheid did to Buntu people of South Africa for centuries. Buntu people in turn passed on that ill conceived disposition for generations including now despite fact Apartheid for most part do not exist plus effective laws are being drafted to annihilate Apartheid forever in South Africa. Buntu of South Africa have failed to discerned that it is no longer necessary or useful to act with Apartheid mentality. We may treat one another as humans we so often proclaimed we were when South Africa was under Apartheid rule. Rape in no way is element of humane treatment plus should be rejected by all humane corners of Buntu South Africa. To put it in a nutshell this means both citizenry plus law enforcement must always confront rape or a charge of rape with utmost seriousness possessing sensitivity for victim as if it was your only daughter. Anything less is inhumane plus if lesser action is taken by a law enforcement officer that officer make itself expendable thus should be at least suspended if not fired. In our best interest we have to cease to deal with rape in Buntu South Africa as if it is a crime of honor plus passion. No honorable man would rape a woman plus there have not ever been passion in physical abuse. It is act in design plus action that is meant to dehumanize plus unduly dominate a fellow human being. It possess malice aforethought thus, for possession of malice plus injury to a fellow human it is a crime fitting for not under twenty years in prison at minimum. If there is assault injury beyond sexual penetration rape is worthy of a punishment of life in prison or execution. It is by such law vigorous enforcement plus pursuit of rapists unto apprehended will we bring this degrading crime which make Buntu especially men appear as subhuman beneath becoming duly civilized. It is in many cases cause Buntu men are secretly considered uncivilized. Prevalence of rape is caused Buntu men are considered uncivilized despite fact we introduced plus developed male circumcision which along with education is considered greatest evidence of a males being civilized. Trust me as sure as I am a Buntu Julu this is true thus, we should comply to what is in our best interest but require little if no sacrifice. Surely Buntu women deserve better. Do not forget your mother is a woman. Stupid is what stupid do. It is stupid to tolerate rape of Buntu women plus that stupidity should be punished albeit not by design but very much like this world secretly punish Buntu of South Africa. We need Do Right Buntu Men in South Africa. Please step forward?Very much sincere, Henry Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu Il-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.

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