The Police (SAPS)
If you report the assault to the Police, they will call the specialist FCS Unit to come and take your statement.
When the FCS Investigator takes your statement, you will need to tell them exactly what happened. They will write down everything you say. You will be asked to read and sign your statement.
Do not sign it if there is something in there that is not correct.
Make the changes and then sign it when you are sure it is correct.
You have a right to get a copy of your statement and add to it at a later date.
Get the name and contact details of your FCS investigator.
If you are going to stay somewhere else give these details to you FCS Investigator.
When the statement has been taken, the FCS Investigator will take you to the District Surgeon.
You have the right to have someone you know with you.
This can be someone from the Victim Support Unit at SAPS.
The District Surgeon (DS)
When you get to the DS, you will be asked to sign a Police form 308, giving permission for the examination
If possible, do not shower, bath or wash yourself before you have been to the DS.
If you do change your clothes, bring the underwear you were wearing to the SAPS when you report the rape.
Your FCS Investigating Officer should inform you of any developments of the case, for example:
Should a suspect be arrested
if the suspect is released on bail.
request you to attend an identification parade
when the trial will be
when you might be required to give evidence in court
You may telephone your FCS Investigator should you have any questions about your case.
Once your case goes to court, your case will be represented by a lawyer from the State, called a Prosecutor.
You will be able to get information about your case from both the FCS Investigator and the Prosecutor once the case goes to Court.
Rape is seen as a crime against the State, the Public Prosecutor will look at the case and decide whether there is enough evidence for the State to lay a charge and proceed with the case.
The Rapist will have a lawyer to represent him.
The case does not cost you any money.
If the Public Prosecutor decides not to proceed, it does not mean that the rape did not happen, or that the crime was not committed.
The Public Prosecutor may decide not to proceed because there is not enough evidence.
In such a case you can still make a civil case, requiring less evidence and using your own lawyer.
Whether or not you or the Public Prosecutor decide to pursue a case, you can still get a restraining order against the rapist.
He will not be allowed to make contact with you.
He will be arrested if he does.
The rapist will have a bail hearing. “Bail” means that for a certain amount of money, the rapist may be released until the trial.
You must be informed of this date and you can attend if you want to.
If you wish to provide a statement to prevent him from being released on bail, you must tell your investigating officer, but it is not advised that you personally testify during his hearing.
Things that may make it more difficult for you rapist to get released on bail:
Has he raped before
You are under 16 yrs old
If there is a co-accused (more than one person raped you and they were in it together)
You are vulnerable by way of a disability (physical, mental , illness)
If he inflicted grievous bodily harm to you
If he or anyone associated with him has threatened you
If you have not obtained a restraining order against him before the bail hearing you can still obtain one after the hearing
If he is released on bail, he may not contact you, leave the country or intimidate you or your family – if he does, you must inform the investigating officer.