South Africa: Care Centers Deliver Post-Rape Care
Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:52 PM

In 2000, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) opened its first post-rape center in South Africa, a country with an extremely high incidence of rape. In an article for the UNPFA, George Ngwa oultines the reasons for and details of the establishment of this center. 

In South Africa it is estimated that one out of four women have been or will be raped.  Ngwa suggests that the incidence of rape could be much higher, but many rape victims fear the process of reporting the crime. Many times girls and women have to undergo a time-consuming and humiliating process that often contributes to their emotional and mental trauma. Often cases go unprosecuted and this contributes to an unwillingness to report rape. A post-rape care center is of the utmost importance in providing a safe and caring place for girls and women who experienced rape.

The South African government, with the help of UNPFA and other organizations committed to fighting gender-based violence, has begun establishing care centers. Thuthuzela Care Centers, as they are called, provide a wide range of services to rape victims.  These facilities have well-trained medical personnel and counseling services. Ngwa asserts that these centers also maintain close relations with prosecutors and investigators who can help seek legal redress for the victims. Importantly, these centers help to diminish post-rape trauma and shift the emphasis from rape victims to rape survivors. Eventually, UNPFA and the South African government hope to establish many more centers around the region.

For full article, click here.

Compiled from: George Ngwa, “South Africa: One-Stop Post-Rape Care”, United Nations Population Fund, 18 August 2008.