Options for rape victims

26 April 2004

UCT's trauma response team is (from left, back) Ingrid Thomson, Rhiannon Thomas, John Samuels, Margie Tainton and Ottoline Clapham. (From left, front) Sue Kuyper, Susan Bourne, Mary Hilton and Andria Plos.

Rape is a difficult topic to write about at the best of times. Nonetheless, staff should be aware of the procedures and services available in case they, or a colleague, are raped while at work, on or off campus.

In line with the VC's vision to enhance the quality of work life as well as provide appropriate health benefits to employees, the UCT's Organisational Health Section in the HR department has collated services available for staff who are injured or raped.

In the incidence of rape, you can call Campus Protection Services, tel 6502222/3, or you can have one of UCT's immediate response support team (IRST) members called in to assist (CPS will alert whoever is on duty).

This team is made up of staff volunteers who have been trained in trauma response and will guide and support the victim.

Another option available is the private Trauma Clinic in Kenilworth, who can call in trained counselors to provide support to the victim and contain the situation. Their 24-hour number is tel 084-944 9444 or 7627377. They will also assess whether further counselling is necessary.

Whichever option is chosen, certain procedures should be followed. The victim should be taken to a Netcare Rape Unit (N1 City Hospital, Southern Cross Hospital, or the Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital emergency and accident units). The units have trained staff who will gather the forensic material necessary and will assess, counsel and commence post-rape treatment.

The Direct AIDS Intervention (DAI) programme will provide the post-rape anti-retroviral treatment to assist in the prevention of HIV transmission. It is important to be able to access your Discovery Health and DAI card at all times, as these will give you access to the programme anywhere in the country, should you be involved in any emergency situation.

Should the Trauma Clinic option be utilised then their practitioner and the UCT organisational health's medical consultant, Dr Tony Davidson, will complete the Injury on Duty forms and reports and submit these directly to COIDA, thus maintaining confidentiality.

The website for the UCT Immediate Response Support Team procedure is http://hr.uct.ac.za/remunbenefits/traumaresponse.php.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 23 Edition 10

26 Apr 2004

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