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Shocking State Of Facilities For Victims Of Sexual Violence Revealed In Report

Many health facilities cannot provide adequate medical care for victims of sexual violence, says Doctors Without Borders.

28/11/2017 11:37 SAST | Updated 28/11/2017 11:38 SAST
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Doctors Without Borders is calling on the Department of Health to urgently address issues of access to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of people who experience sexual violence in South Africa.

It follows a report by the organisation, which revealed three-quarters of public health facilities in South Africa which are supposed to be equipped to provide forensic care, are unable to do so.

"Nurses should be trained to conduct forensic examinations with standard clinical care, and lay counsellors can be given skills to offer longer-term support for survivors," MSF forensic nurse Cecilia Lamola said.

The report looked at 265 designated facilities in the survey.

The results show that only 26.7 percent of these facilities have a comprehensive package to take care of people who are victims of sexual assault.

Counselling, an important component for survivors, is not provided at most facilities. Only 27 percent of facilities provide access to a psychologist, while only 28 percent are able to provide access to a social worker.

The report also shows that 20 percent of these facilities do not provide the clinical forensic services that enable survivors to pursue a case in court of law.

South Africa has been dubbed the "rape capital" of the world, with statistics showing the prevalence of sexual violence in the country, according to News24.

According to police crime stats, roughly 1.25 million sexual assaults have been reported between 1994 and 2014, roughly 170 incidents per day.

In 2010, a study by Gender Links and the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that in Gauteng, only one in 25 rapes had been reported to the police.