Netcare Rape Clinics are there to help you in your area
Netcare has 37 Sexual Assault Centres in operation throughout the country. Dedicated to providing professional healthcare and compassion to survivors of rape, these specialist units have treated over 8 600 patients since their inception, 86% of whom were female and 5% men.
The Netcare Sexual Assault Centres offer free counselling to men, women and children immediately after a rape and for a year thereafter, irrespective of whether the rape survivor is medically insured or not. If necessary, anti-pregnancy medication and antiretroviral therapy are also offered.
“Sexual assault survivors, whether they are adults or children, have been hurt and violated in a deeply personal way, that infinite care should be taken to ensure that the treatment they receive does not add to their trauma,” asserts Toubkin.
The hours immediately following sexual assault are crucial, observes Toubkin. “How you behave, the decisions you make, the people you talk to will have a tremendous impact on the recovery process and the successful prosecution of the rapist. Every person should have some idea of the best procedure to follow in such a situation.”
Families and friends should be sensitive to the way a rape survivor behaves and how he or she is coping. If the person does not want to talk about it, do not force the issue, but listen patiently instead. If he or she does not want to be hugged or touched, avoid doing so. These are all normal reactions and may occur at different times during the recovery process. Rape survivors need to know that what has happened to them is not their fault and that their loved ones believe in them and do not blame them, says Toubkin.
What to do if you are raped
Before you do anything else, get support as this is one time in your life when you need to feel strong and empowered. This is the time to insist on getting what you need, but it is also a time when you will feel most vulnerable. For these reasons it is vital to call on someone who can be tough and assertive on your behalf. “The person you speak to first is very important as he or she may be called upon as a witness at the trial. It is best to choose someone who was not there at the time of the attack,” says Nicky Baltsoucos, national trauma coordinator at Netcare.
Netcare’s Sexual Assault Centres are integrated into the emergency departments of the majority of Netcare hospitals and provide rape survivors with holistic treatment. This holistic service focuses on addressing their physical injuries, ensuring that the right procedures are followed in collecting evidence from them, assisting them in reporting the rape as well as providing counselling to help them overcome emotional trauma.
“The units are all staffed by caring and compassionate individuals. In the case of child victims we work closely with organisations such as the Teddy Bear and Rainbow clinics. We also have an excellent relationship with the SAPS and are able to assist victims in reporting sexual assault. This means that patients can come directly to one of our centres without being sent from pillar to post,” adds Baltsoucos.
Tel: 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273)