MANY rape cases in South Africa never reach the final stages of a guilty verdict.
It’s a situation that women and human rights activists have attributed to various factors, including negligent police work that resulted in lack of evidence against perpetrators.
This has seen many rapists walk, and left many victims feeling helpless and never receiving justice.
Now a Pretoria NGO has developed a rape protocol chart that it hopes will reach as many women as possible around the country so that they know what to do after having been raped.
The protocol, developed by Viva Foundation chief executive officer Meleney Kriel, contains detailed information, starting from when the rape takes place to when the rapist is finally sentenced.
Kriel said yesterday that she had decided to develop the protocol because many rapists got off the hook as many women were not aware of their role in ensuring that perpetrators were successfully prosecuted.
“The protocol contains a lot of information that women who are raped need to know. For instance, it is known that the best place to store evidence is in a paper bag, because a plastic bag attracts heat and gets moist, possibly destroying DNA evidence.
“We have also included the process to follow when reporting the crime because that is an important part as well.”
According to Kriel, the plan is to distribute the protocol to schools, clinics and in places where women will be able to access it easily.