Important Advice for Rape Survivors
After being raped, even if you do not open a case please:
- Get evidence collected within 24 hours and no later than 72 hours (the police will take you to the rape crisis centre or hospital)
- Get anti-retrovirals & emergency contraception within 72 hours (anti-retrovirals are free to rape victims at government hospitals)
- Get antibiotic medication to prevent other sexually transmitted infections
- Get counselling from a person trained in rape trauma counselling – it is never too late
You can get all of the above free at our office at Helderberg Hospital, Somerset West
(see the map below for directions)
Call 083 484 9409 (24 hours a day) or 021-852 5620 (office hours) or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You do not have to go through this alone.
RAPE TRAUMA SYNDROME is a recognised response to rape and sexual abuse and it includes a variety of problems including various long-term consequences, the symptoms are similar to Post Traumatic Stress. Although many rape survivors suffer from the symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome, not all survivors respond to rape in the same way.
It is important to treat each rape survivor as an individual and to try and understand what the rape means to that particular person. Coping with being raped may also be more difficult if family, friends and colleagues are not supportive and/or blame the survivor.
After the shock has passed, some survivors try to act as if nothing has happened. This is their way of trying to block out the rape, because they feel that they won’t be able to cope if they let themselves remember what happened to them.
However, if a rape survivor is going to recover well from the impact of a rape, s/he must let her/himself remember the rape and feel whatever s/he is feeling inside. When s/he does start remembering and feeling, s/he will also start suffering from symptoms, but these usually improve gradually over time. It often helps a survivor to have counselling if s/he is experiencing symptoms that upset her/him.
The effects of rape are long term. Rape survivors never forget being raped, but many learn how to deal with the memory. Studies have shown that the symptoms suffered by a rape survivor three months after a rape usually continue over the next three to four years, although they do seem to improve over time.
Sadly South Africa holds the for the highest rapes world-wide. Interpol estimates that over 1 million women are raped each year in South Africa.