This morning we headed to Stanford where we continued with the workshop. The topic today was care for the caregiver. We also had a networking meeting in Hermanus where the needs, problems and resources within the Hermanus, Gansbaai, Pearly Beach and Stanford communities were identified and to build better capacity and finding ways of broadening the network of support for rape survivors. Moreover, we visited the hospital, the police station and the Regional Court in Hermanus in connection with the Shukumisa campaign to see whether the rape survivors’ rights and services within the system are followed.
The team has found this journey very rewarding and interesting and we all agreed that the needs for the support of rape survivors in the area visited were vast. We will close this enlightening journey with a quote from Soren Kierkegaard: “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself”.
Some of the participants from the networking meeting in Hermanus together with Eleanor
Catherine having a talk about myths and stereotypes regarding rape
Today we continued with the capacity building workshop from day 2. The main topic for discussion was understanding rape. Also the pathway through the Criminal Justice System, the legal definition of rape, the new law on Sexual Offences which was implemented in 2007 as well as myths and stereotypes regarding rape such as “all rapists are mentally ill” were addressed.
At around 14 am. some of the team members went to the Community Health Centre in Stanford where we met the operational manager. She informed us that the services for rape victims were poor in this area and the survivors were sent to the hospital in Hermanus. Moreover, this Centre does not do the forensic examination, but it is done by the police station. The only services they render to the victims are that they give them PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is an anti-HIV medical treatment, and this has to be taken within 72 hours after the rape in order to have its effect. Also they get offered medication for the side-effects of PEP at the Clinic.
After this very challenging and rewarding day the team closed the evening with having our debriefing and planning for the grand finale tomorrow.
Jemima giving an excellent presentation of victimization
Peliswa and Eleanor together with employees at the Stanford Clinic
Today we spent at Stanford where we were doing capacity building workshops for Bure Help Bure, Badisa, Social Development Services, Family in Focus and CDW (Community Development Workers). The workshop was run in Xhosa, Afrikaans and English. Catherine started introducing Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust and what the plan was going to be today. The team had a really fruitful day today and was in high spirits as everyone showed up.
Everything ran smoothly and everybody was engaged and positive. Afterwards the team was left with the feeling that the workshop had been interesting, educating and motivating. It really felt like team spirit and the team agreed upon that the message had come across.
The thoughts left for us is how challenging it is to break the silence of speaking out about rape as people are afraid of being labeled and stigmatized.