Free State police concerned about the rise in rape incidents

Police in the Free State have raised concerns about the increase in rape across the province. File Picture: Brenton Geach / Independent Newspapers Archive

Police in the Free State have raised concerns about the increase in rape across the province. File Picture: Brenton Geach / Independent Newspapers Archive

Published Jul 3, 2024


Police in the Free State are concerned about the alarming increase in rape incidents where women are raped while under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

“A disturbing number of rape cases have been reported at different police stations across the province. As a result, the police would like to urge the community to join them in curbing these crimes by raising awareness,” provincial police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Mmako Mophiring said.

Police have offered the following tips:

Do not walk alone at night

Police said it was discovered that most victims are targeted while walking home at night from a drinking place.

Police said many victims are attacked while going to the toilet at drinking outlets and some have fallen victim to suspects who follow them home.

“The community is urged to stop walking alone late at night, especially in open and dark areas. Avoid open and unlit spaces and streets with vacant houses. It is advisable to use alcohol responsibly and in the company of trustworthy people. Arranging safe transport to your home after enjoying a night out is also a good idea. Make sure the house is locked after arriving home, as some victims wake up to find a perpetrator raping them,” Mophiring said.

Others cases are gender-based violence-related where the boyfriend or ex-boyfriend forces themselves on the victim. Police emphasised that this is a criminal offence.

“Women should be careful not to go to the homes of ex-boyfriends or persons they know under the pretence of fetching items or getting more money to buy liquor, as this can be used as an opportunity to rape the victim.

“Such persons should also not be allowed to take victims home or into the home of the lady. “Victims must also be reminded that sexual intercourse should not be viewed as payment for a night out or drinks,” Mophiring said.

Underage drinking

Police stations have reported an increase in rape cases where minors are the victims, some where found to be highly intoxicated.

“They will admit to not even remembering who they were with, due to being intoxicated,” Mophiring said.

Police plead with tavern owners to adhere to rules on the sale of liquor. If the client are underage, it is an offence to allow such a child to enter the premises. If a patron has had too much to drink, stop selling liquor to them.

Minors home alone

“Some victims complain that their stepfathers or family members have raped them. Parents should not leave minors unsupervised at home at any time, and neighbours are encouraged to report such incidents. This endangers the lives of minors, as they often fall victim to rape and other crimes,” Mophiring said.

Reporting rape cases

Police urge anyone to immediately report rape incidents to the nearest police station where they will be privately interviewed in a victim-friendly facility to help you feel comfortable so you can provide as much evidence as you can to assist the police in arresting the suspect.

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