Department of Health 05/12/2019 - 08:38
The Gauteng Department of Health officially opened Clinical Forensic Medical Service facility (CFMS) as part of 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children commemorations in Bekkersdal on Monday.
“This clinic is a forensic medical clinic. It is central in dealing with the issue of gender based violence. At this clinic, all victims of violence and sexual assault are seen.Acting Head of Health Department, Dr Richard Lebethe further said that the scourge of gender-based violence does not only disrupt and take away the dignity, freedom and identity of women and children but it also reverses and restricts development of all forms in our communities.
“As the communities we must echo the call enough is enough,” pleaded Dr Lebethe.
Furthermore, Dr Lebethe said Bekkersdal contributed 14% (147) of overall cases of sexual assault reported in the West Rand District for 2018/19 financial year, while domestic violence had 56.3 % (9) of reported cases.
Puleng Mmuso, Acting Chief Director for the West Rand District pleaded with the community to look after the facility.
“This facility does not only belong to the Department of Health but it belongs to the community of Bekkersdal. So as in when there are issues in terms of gender based violence please use it,” she said.
“We work in close collaboration with the Police and the Social Workers. As we all know that Bekkersdal is very far from other facilities, so it is very critical that we have a facility nearer to the people, because our aim is to bring services to the people. I hope the community will take care of this facility, value the facility and visit the facility,” added Mmuso.
Bekkersdal Clinic professional nurse, Refiloe Thobela said: “When the patients visit the facility they are counselled and examined, thereafter we refer the patient to social workers. If there are victims of rape, we give the patients Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.”
She further added that a lot of victims do not visit these kind of facilities due to the fear instilled in them by the perpetrator and fearing for their lives. “Victims should be strong and fear no one, we have a strong and competent policing in the country that is more than capable of protecting them. Victims need to come forward so they can receive help,” said Thobela.
Community member, Lerato Tsotetsi said: “As a community we are asking for Police intervention because every week we are hearing of cases whereby our young women are continuously raped and the culprits seem to be walking free. We feel that there are not enough arrests and that may be an indication that not enough is done to address the crisis of gender-based violence.”
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