Genevieve Burrow, PsySSA Student Division
The 2nd October marks the International Day of Non-Violence. Statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the period of April 2018 – March 2019, show that 52, 420 sexual offences were recorded (SAPS, 2019).
Reportedly, 45.6% of South African women experience physical and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence. The mental health implications are extensive, and include possible depression, anxiety, suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse (Mpani and Nsibande, 2015).
The South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (SAMSOSA) reports that in 2012, 19.4% of sexual assault victims were men (Maseko, 2015). This figure is likely much higher, as many cases are not reported due to the shame and mockery victims are subjected to. Male victims of sexual crimes demonstrate an increased risk of PTSD, depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and intimacy challenges.
The University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute notes that 41% of all reported rape cases account for child victimisation. Immediate psychological symptoms may include shock, fear, anxiety, guilt, withdrawal, and symptoms of PTSD. Long-term effects extending into adulthood may include depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and substance abuse (Jamieson et al, 2017).
There are organisations available for men, women and children survivors of sexual assault:
Landline: 010 590 5920
24-hour counselling line: 0861 322 322 or 011 422 4242
Western Cape: 021 461 1111
Gauteng: 011 728 1347
KwaZulu-Natal: 031 303 1344
Rape Crisis Cape Town:
Head office: 021 447 1467
Athlone: 021 684 1180
South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (SAMASOSA)
Telephone: 071 280 9918
Telephone: 078 457 4911
Telephone: 08000 55 555
Email: email@example.com (Counselling/Case Enquiries)