Thuthuzela Care Centres.

7 Oct

Gender-based violence has been a crisis in South Africa.
Unfortunately, it will take a tremendous amount of work to dismantle the patriarchal policies, ideologies and practices that enable rapists and abusers. Often our police stations do not assist with survivors in opening cases. The other option is to go to a registered Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC).

A TCC is a designated forensic and medical service available to rape survivors as an emergency service in the 72 hours immediately after a rape. They are at 54 hospitals across South Africa.

How do they work?
At the centre or unit, a counsellor will greet the rape victim and tell them about the services offered. The counsellor will then explain all the procedures that must be followed by doctors, nurses and police. They will give the person emotional support as well as offer the same to any family member or friend that has come along with the rape victim to the centre. The doctor will then ask the rape victim to tell them about what happened, perform a medical examination and collect samples of semen, blood and saliva from the rape victims’ clothes and body.

The nurse will then offer information, perform tests, and offer treatment for potential pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The rape victim will receive sanitary products, a bath or shower, some refreshments, and a change of underwear. A police detective will take a statement from the rape victim and open a case file. When all procedures are complete, the victim goes home. Transport is arranged either to their home or to a safe house or shelter. If they need additional services, follow-up and referrals are on offer.

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