Rape care centres closing? We can stop this

*Warning, talk of rape and violence* If you were raped, would you be able to access adequate post-rape care? For too many the answer is a shocking no, like 41-year old Bianca Jonkers* who was gang raped by seven men in Diepsloot earlier this year. The next morning, she had to travel about 20kms to Randburg to access post rape care such as counselling, the morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics to prevent infection, an HIV test and a month’s dosage of antiretrovirals if she was HIV negative to reduce chances of contracting HIV because the health facility in her area did not offer these services.[1]. Butwe can change this.

With the increase in reports of gender based violence, we have an opportunity now to let those entrusted with ensuring services for rape victims know we won’t stop until they begin to take a lead in providing effective post-rape services. Please click here to support this campaign: http://www.amandla.mobi/care_for_rape_survivors

Many other women are at risk especially those in rural and peri-urban areas where if you do not have money to travel to a nearest facility, you put your life at risk of contracting HIV and other unwanted illnesses related to rape. Compounding the situation further is that international funding for Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) is drying up [2]. These centres are “one-stop” facilities for rape survivors, providing services such as counselling, medical care and the collection of evidence used to prosecute alleged rapists.

For Bianca and every other rape survivor who need to access these services, it is critical that we stand firmly behind the call for a well-funded inter-departmental intervention that will work at not only funding these centres so that they continue offering these services but must work towards increasing their number so every survivor in every part of Mzansi is able to access them. Please click here to add your name to this call: https://goo.gl/7CAUZo

When women have been under attack, the amandla .mobi community has consistently come together to fight this. We can do it again.

Together for justice,
Thuli, Koketso and Nqaba for amandla .mobi

PS: Our ally on this campaign Health-e news has developed a tool where women can share their testimonies about post-rape care. If you are a survivor of sexual violence and are willing to share your story to help others, please SMS ‘end rape’ to 38006 and follow the prompts. The SMS is free.

[1] ‘I would have killed myself’: Free app puts care at rape survivors’ fingertips. An article by Pontsho Pilane. Bhekisisa. 23 May 2017.
[2] Almost half of the centers for rape survivors may lose funding for counselling services. An article by Pontsho Pilane. Bhekisisa. 29 August 2016

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