Help fight violence against women by giving your Mandela Day minutes to rape survivors

Last year was great, let’s make this year even better!

Rape Crisis counsellors offer 24 hour support to rape survivors undergoing a forensic examination in the hours immediately after rape. They treat each case with the utmost seriousness. They give clear information about what will happen next. They allow the rape survivor to make her or his own decisions and then support those decisions and offer emotional support throughout the process. They make sure the person has access to justice and knows what is required of them step by step throughout the journey.

Medical personnel offer treatment to prevent HIV infection, to prevent other sexually transmitted infections and in the case of women, to prevent pregnancy. A detective from a specialist unit takes a full statement.

This is a difficult ordeal to go through immediately after rape. You can imagine how desperate survivors are to have a shower as soon as all these procedures have been completed. That’s why we give each one of them a care pack containing toiletries, a change of underwear and other personal items.  These items are contained in a beautiful bag sewn by rape survivors in our sewing project. As one rape survivor said: “I felt so comforted by the toiletries and I am amazed that someone took the time to create such a beautiful bag just for me.”

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On Saturday 15 July we need your help to put these care packs together.  The contents of the packs are all ready and the bags we pack them into have been hand made by our Change a Life sewing project, a group of rape survivors striving for economic empowerment.  We need your help to pack 1 300 bags for women, men, girls and boys. What better way could there be to celebrate the spirit of Mandela Day than by giving your 67 minutes to support rape survivors?

On the day a rape survivor will be telling her story, our director, Kathleen Dey will be talking about the work of Rape Crisis and there’ll be a crafting space where you can make something special to put inside a care pack. Some people make cards while others knit or crochet small hearts to go into the packs.

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Please will you diarise now:

Date:  Saturday 15 July 2017
Time:  10.00am to 15.00pm
Venue:  Rosebank Methodist Church Hall, 2 Chapel Road, Rosebank
(Click here for map to venue) 

Please sign up by clicking here now to let us know that you will be joining us on the day.

Tickets will be sold at the door for R67 each. If you can’t make it, you could sponsor a care pack instead, by clicking here now. Every gesture of support counts in surviving rape. Each care pack costs us R120 to make up. Please use the reference #RCMandelaDay.

Refreshments will be on sale over the course of the day. Please click here if you have a food stall and would like to register to be a vendor on the day or phone Zeenat Hendricks on 021 447 1467.

Thank you for making Mandela Day meaningful by helping to fight violence against women.

Mandela Day Care Pack Drive

The spirit of giving and helping others is epitomised in Mandela Day (Saturday, 18 July), when scores of South Africans come together and dedicate a portion of their day to doing good and the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

This year, Rape Crisis has set aside an interesting and exciting project for our 67 minutes. Year after year, women and men face the harrowing experience of surviving sexual assault and rape with very little to no support. The process of going through to the police station and undergoing the process of forensic examination can leave many women feeling violated from the start. Thus, in the spirit of giving back and supporting rape survivors with resources to regain their dignity, the organisation has put together a care pack drive where volunteers and allies can assemble care packs for rape survivors.

In an effort to be provide adequate support, please note that brand new donations are required and will be the only donations accepted.

The care packs consist of the following:

  • Underwear (all shapes and sizes for men/women/children)
  • Sanitary pads (no tampons)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Nappies

The reality of this care pack drive is mobilising our volunteers while simultaneously ensuring that rape survivors are able to experience kindness in the simplest of forms – like being able to put on a fresh pair of underwear or wash their hair. In the spirit of Mandela Day where South Africans pledge to give back 67 minutes of their time (representing the number of years Madiba spent in jail fighting for revolution and freedom) to pay it forward and give, we urge others to come and participate in our drive.

Not only that, volunteers are able to meet with like-minded individuals and get to know the people behind Rape Crisis as well making connection with some new faces.

Find all the details and sign up here. 

Looking for the when and where?

Venue: Mowbray Town Hall | Main Road | Mowbray

Time: 10am – 3pm

Date: Saturday, 18 July 2015.

We hope to see you there!

Dr Genine Josias in the examination room at one of the Thuthuzela Care Centres

Dr Genine Josias in the examination room at one of the Thuthuzela Care Centres

Mandela Day Care Pack Drive

Meet Abigail, learn about the work she does, and find out why the care packs we will be preparing on Mandela Day are so important to our survivors.abigail blog post

Rape Crisis: Tell us about yourself

Abigail: My name is Abigail and I’m 32 years old. I’m a Rape Crisis first responder at the Thuthuzela Care Centre in Athlone.

RC: What is your relationship with Rape Crisis?

A: I started with Rape Crisis in 2009, when I did the training to become a volunteer counsellor. Since then I’ve been very involved and active within the organisation: I’ve done training with Stop the Bus, our community outreach initiative where we went out to empower women by educating them about their rights, rape, and what to do; have also helped with training new counselling volunteers and I’m also very active in the Observatory office where I have been a pieceworker, meaning I’ve answered the crisis line, booked client appointments, and offered support to people who call Rape Crisis, informing them about rape and what their options are.

RC: What is the Thuthuzela Care Centre?

A: The Thuthuzela Care centre is a one stop centre where rape survivors go to for forensic examinations and the medical treatment after rape. There is a forensic doctor who does the examination, a nurse, and also a counsellor at the centre. Often the investigating officer brings the survivor to the centre to undergo a forensic examination to collect evidence for the case, but they also receive important medication that prevents HIV, pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections. Sometimes the investigating officer will also take their statement there. It’s a place for them to go to and receive medical attention and examination after they have been raped

RC: What is a care pack?

A: A care pack contains a washcloth, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, underwear, and sometimes a snack. We give these packs to rape survivors so that they can shower or bath if they want to after the forensic examination.

RC: What impact does this have upon the survivors?

A: The care pack us shows survivors that we care about them, especially after they’ve gone through this horrific and traumatic experience. For them, some of them don’t even have the means to buy basics like sanitary towels, so we try to help from our side. Being able to wash after the examination and remove the evidence of the crime is very comforting to survivors, and this is possible thanks to the wonderful people who donate care pack items to us.

RC: How can people help and what can they donate?

A: You can sign up and  join our Mandela Day care pack drive. Collect toiletries and join together with us on 18 July to create beautiful care packs to show your support for rape survivors.

We always welcome donations of soap, bodywash, facecloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary towels, underwear and nappies.

We hope you can join us on Mandela Day.

A typical care pack for a rape survivor

A typical care pack for a rape survivor