I have lost hope in the system - gang rape victim despondent after police ordeal
Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain woman said she is despondent to go ahead with a rape case after she was allegedly gang-raped by four suspects and sent from pillar to post by police in attempts to report the matter.
The 31-year-old woman, who did not want to be named out of fear of retribution, said she is suffering further trauma after she was allegedly raped, assaulted and robbed while on her way to visit her brother in Netreg, Bishop Lavis.
“I was on my way to my brother when the attack happened under the bridge near Kreefgat. It was dark under the bridge when four men approached me. I could not see their faces and was terrified.
“The incident happened on a Saturday, and on the Monday, I went to Mitchells Plain hospital, which is nearer to me. There I was referred to the police station and I went to Mitchells Plain police station. However, when I got there, they told me they can’t help because it didn’t happen in the area. I was told to go to Bishop Lavis to report the matter,” the victim said.
Desperate for assistance and wanting to report the matter, the woman went to Bishop Lavis police station and said even there she was told they could not help her.
“When I got to the station and explained what had happened, I was told that they can’t help me because the matter was reported to Mitchells Plain and they had to give me a case number.
“I was told that Mitchells Plain was supposed to register the case and I was to bring a docket along. I left Bishop Lavis station without being helped again. I felt helpless and despondent,” the victim said.
As a result, the woman said she also had a delay in getting much needed medical attention where evidence could not be collected.
“The docket was only eventually taken the following Friday nearly a week after my ordeal, at Mitchells Plain police station. I had to go to work with my injuries. I have lost hope in the system.
“I heard the suspects are still walking around the area with the stuff they had stolen from me, but no arrests have been made. I can’t go to the station for an identity parade because I do not know what they look like,” she said.
The victim said she relives her trauma each time she has to detail what had happened to her.
“I haven’t even received proper counselling yet. I had one counselling session, but each time I talk about it, I relive that trauma, but still it feels like the case is going nowhere,” she said.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a case of rape is being investigated by Bishop Lavis.
“The suspects are still to be arrested. SAPS prioritises sexual offences and victims can report the incidents to their nearest police station and the police will contact the relevant FCS where the incident occurred,” said Van Wyk.
The victim was advised to lodge an official complaint about the conduct of Mitchells Plain SAPS management for allegations to be investigated.