Bara commemorates International Women’s Day Bara commemorates International Women’s Day

Department of Health 13/03/2020 - 12:03




 

Phume Khumalo​


 

In commemorating International Women’s Day, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) empowered women with knowledge about sexual offences and why they should be reported.

 

Health workers from Nthabiseng Thuthuzela Care Centre (NTCC) together with People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) educated both staff members and patients about the importance of reporting and seeking treatment for any form of abuse.

 

Head of NTCC, Sr Mavis Mabane said: “The centre sees about 25 sexual offence cases involving both children and adults on a weekly basis.  During weekends and holidays such as the festive season, this number increases,”

“In addition to sexual offenses, the centre also sees cases of domestic violence; possible exposure to HIV through burst condoms or incidental needle pricks as well as medical assessments for work placements or rehabilitation.”

 

Since it first opened its doors in 2003, the aim of the centre has always been to improve the care and repair the dignity of raped women and so shorten the time it takes for arrests, court appearances and sentencing.   It reduces secondary trauma to survivors as the entire process takes place in a dignified and friendly environment.


 

The centre enables a woman to report a rape, open a case and receive medical care and counselling in one place. It is manned by female investigative officers, prosecutors, nurses, counsellors and volunteers.


 

“We allow walk-in patients although most are referred by local police stations or clinics,” says Sr Mabane adding that through this campaign they are encouraging victims of rape to report and be treated both physically and mentally.


 

Services offered at the centre:

  • Welcome and comfort from a site co-coordinator 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.
  • 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 go to court.
  • Court preparation by a victim assistant officer.
  • An explanation of the outcome and update of the trial process by a case manager.

For all enquiries:  Nthabiseng Thuthuzela Care Centre 011 933 1206 or 9234.

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