A previous protest by the Rape Survivors Justice Campaign outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
A previous protest by the Rape Survivors Justice Campaign outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Rape Crisis protest: Focus on rape survivors on International Women’s Day

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Mar 8, 2021

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Mbotshelwa said a memorandum of demands will be handed over to the acting director of court operations in the Western Cape, Noluvuyo Bekwa.

Cape Town - In celebration of International Women’s Day today, Rape Crisis and the Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign (RSJC) are demanding that the Khayelitsha Sexual Offences Court (SOC) be properly upgraded so that rape survivors can attain justice without fear or experiencing secondary victimisation and further trauma.

The #JusticeProtest is set to take place outside the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s Western Cape Regional offices in the Cape Town CBD today.

The protest will be the first in-person and online protest hosted by Rape Crisis.

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust locum advocacy specialist Jessica Bobbert said SOCs are special courts that deal only with sexual offences and are designed to be sensitive to the survivor.

“One of the key objectives of SOCs is to reduce secondary trauma for survivors. Secondary trauma can have a detrimental effect on a survivor’s ability to deliver effective testimony, as well as their mental health and well-being,” said Bobbert.

“The Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court has been identified for the establishment of a SOC for more than six years, yet it still does not have all the elements required to be one. Due to continuing inaction from the government, survivors using this court continue to experience secondary trauma. This is simply unacceptable.”

Advocacy co-ordinator Mandisa Mbotshelwa said: “Rape Crisis, the RSJC, community members and partners will all be gathering to demand action. We invite the public to join us, either in person or online.”

Mbotshelwa said a memorandum of demands will be handed over to the acting director of court operations in the Western Cape, Noluvuyo Bekwa.

“At the moment, the condition of the Khayelitsha SOC is not the way it is supposed to be, and survivors continue to experience secondary trauma,” said Mbotshelwa.

The protest will take place from 11am to 1pm in Queen Victoria Street.

Cape Argus

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