This year Skin, Body & Health Renewal Gauteng staff members have decided to support Ntabiseng Thuthuzela Care Centre in Soweto as the CSI Project for 2014. On Sunday 9 November, 120 staff members will be visiting the centre to give their examination rooms, children’s play therapy room and counselling rooms a much needed facelift.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Donations can be dropped off at your nearest Skin, Body & Health Renewal branch, you may also make a monetary donation at the branch with which we will purchase supplies and wish list items. If you require a tax certificate for your donation, this can be arranged.
ABOUT NTABISENG THUTHUZELA CARE CENTRE IN SOWETO
The Ntabiseng Thuthuzela Care Centre in Soweto bears the name in memory of Nthabiseng Lorraine Khumalo, who was gang-raped in June 1994, identified her attackers to the police and was killed by them in her hospital bed.
But the centre's history actually goes back to 1992, when there was an outcry by the community over the increasing number of rapes in the Soweto area. Low conviction rates were leading to frustration, anger and vigilante action. Another approach was needed. Various government departments, led by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), designed a new anti-rape strategy with civil society. Adopted by parliament last year, it proposed merging police and prosecution services with the Nthabiseng Thuthuzela Centre, which up to then had provided only health care and counselling.
Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary trauma for the victim, improve conviction rates and reduce the cycle time for finalising cases.
When reporting, the rape victim is removed from crowds and intimidating environments, such as at the police station, to a more victim-friendly environment before being transported by ambulance to the Thuthuzela one stop care centre at the hospital. En route, the victim receives comfort and crisis counselling from a trained ambulance volunteer.
Doctors at Thuthuzela Care Centres have reported seeing increased numbers of child victims. Sadly, some of them are as young as three months. Accordingly, the need for specially trained child-friendly nurses or care-givers to receive and comfort children before they are taken for examination is critical.
Process and Services offered at the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs)
- Welcome and comfort from a site co-ordinator or nurse.
- An explanation of how the medical examination will be conducted and what clothing might be taken for evidence.
- A consent form to sign that allows the doctor to conduct the medical examination.
- A nurse in the examination room.
- After the medical examination, there are bath or shower facilities for the victims to use.
- The victims are supplied with care packs and clean clothing supplied by donors.
- An investigation officer will interview the survivor and take his/her statement.
- A social worker or nurse will offer counselling.
- A nurse arranges for follow-up visits, treatment and medication for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV and AIDS.
- A referral letter or appointment will be made for long-term counselling.
- The victim (survivor) is offered transportation home by an ambulance or the investigating officer.
- Arrangements for the survivor to go to a place of safety, if necessary.
- Consultations with a specialist prosecutor before the case goes to court.
- Court preparation by a victim assistant officer.
- An explanation of the outcome and update of the trial process by a case manager.
- This process ensures that service providers are available to a rape survivor in one location, rather than her being shuttled around throughout the criminal justice system.
- Thuthuzela’s integrated approach to rape care is one of respect, comfort, restoring dignity and ensuring justice for children, women and men who are victims of sexual violence.