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Sexual Offences: Victims of rape and other sexual crimes

In 2007, Government introduced a new law to protect communities against rape and other sexual related crimes. The new law is called the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007. This law is also known as the Sexual Offences Amendment Act (SOAA) is required to protect victims, especially women, children and people living with mental disabilities that have been raped or have been victims of sexual crimes/offences.

Services offered by the new model for Sexual Offences Courts:

  • Court preparation services: The programme familiarises you with court processes, procedures, services and benefits. It aims to help you to be an effective witness in court. On the date of trial, you will be welcomed in court by the Court Preparation Officer (CPO).
  • Pre- and post- trial trauma debriefing services: The CPO will take you through trial trauma debriefing sessions before the trial commences and once it is concluded to help you deal with the trauma of the incident.
  • Intermediary services: If you are a child victim or a person with mental disability, the prosecutor will apply to court to allow you to testify in a private testifying room with the assistance of an intermediary. The role of the intermediary is to convey questions from court to you in an understandable manner.
  • Private testifying room/closed court services: If you are an adult witness, the law allows you to testify from a private testifying room via the closed-circuit TV system if you feel more comfortable to do so. This will ensure that you do not need to be in the physical presence of the accused when testifying.
  • Private waiting rooms for adult and child victims: The child witness room has standard furniture specifically designed to meet the needs of traumatised children. It also provides a play area, reading centre, and a child’s bed-sofa for resting. The adult waiting room is also furnished to make the court experience more comfortable for victims. Information services are available at the private waiting rooms for victims, mainly to inform you of your rights and the available court services. The information is offered in the form of educational booklets, DVDs, and in braille.
  • Witness fee services: The department provides witness fees to cover your return travelling costs and food while in court.

The Act and Reguslations:

Policies, Reports and Documents:

List of Sexual Offences Courtrooms

Other Information:

Service Points:
Any referral made in respect of a person or child that is/was a victim of sexual violence, must be to an accredited centre or shelter. The booklet on "Victims of rape and other sexual crimes" provides a list (and contact details) of centres and shelters which have been assessed for capacity to provide service to victims of sexual violence.

Other Links

  • NPA: Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit
  • SAPS: Family Violence, Child Protection And Sexual Offences Unit (FCS)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Chief-Directorate: Promotion of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups
Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: 012 315 1808/1656
Fax: 086 653 3306
E-mail: sorma@justice.gov.za

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