Rape Crisis, as part of its Making Change programme, intends to hold government accountable for the promise of specialised sexual offences courts. We believe these courts are key to increasing reporting rates and conviction rates for rape, while decreasing the secondary victimisation of rape survivors. We recently introduced some of our volunteers and community members from Athlone and Khayelitsha to our advocacy campaign and trained the participants on the need for specialised sexual offences courts. We had engaging discussions regarding the high prevalence of rape in these communities and how specialised sexual offences courts can address these.
Here community members from Athlone and Khayelitsha are hearing about the key ideas behind an advocacy strategy.
Here one of the groups is talking about how specialised sexual offences courts will better serve survivors.
Among the benefits are higher conviction rates, less secondary trauma for survivors, better resources, specialised services and ultimately – less rape.
Rape Crisis Advocacy Coordinator, Jeanne Bodenstein, outlining the requirements for specialised offences courts in terms of personnel and infrastructure.
Volunteers had the opportunity to role play telling someone else about why specialised sexual offences courts are so important.
The group meets again in June to further the discussions and plan the way forward with the campaign in collaboration with spokespersons from the communities.