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In this article, we give a brief overview of the latest crime stats, give guidance on reporting a crime, and obtaining a protection order. We also provide you with information on our services to assist you in dealing with emotional trauma and seeking medical advice and emergency medical response.

Darren Cohen
Darren Cohen - General Manager
27 August 2021 | 4 minute read
September Crime stats article Web banner 27 08 2021
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Our current circumstances

On 20 August 2021, Police Minister Behki Cele provided our nation with stats that showed a disturbing increase in crime. While almost all crime categories saw an increase, the most concerning spike was in rape and sexual assault. Initially, the COVID-19 lockdown had a positive effect, decreasing our overall crime rate to almost zero murder cases – following the sharp U-turn we want to remind you that with Legal&Tax you’re not alone, and there are a number of ways we can assist if you have been a victim of crime.

The crime stats at a glance

These stats are inflated due to the comparison to the very low crime rate over the initial lockdown, however in general there has been an increase even when normalized against the previous period of 2019. A 66.2% increase in murder, 92.2% increase in passenger vehicle hijackings, and 33.4% increase in residential robberies leave you feeling despondent, nervous for your and your family’s safety, and even traumatized. The 74.1% increase in sexual offences is a truly debilitating plight on our community. The mental, emotional and physical scars that rape and other sexual offences leave on victims and their loved ones can follow them for life!

With these stats being released in Women’s Month, we are acutely sensitive to how difficult this type of crime is on South Africa. With 10 066 rapes and a further 1 900 sexual assaults being reported, it is particularly worrying that a substantial sample of rapes showed 69% of rape incidents took place at the home of the victim or the home of the rapist; and 487 rape cases were domestic violence related.

As the Minister concluded in his speech, The ‘Crime Holiday’ is long gone and these figures should action us and strengthen our resolve – at Legal&Tax, we ask ourselves what we can do to be there for you?

    A companion in your time of need

    Knowing your rights when reporting a rape

    The rape statistics recorded by the police cannot be taken as an accurate measure of either the extent or trend of this crime. A 2006 Lancet report estimated that eight out of nine rapes go unreported! A 2014/15 Africa Check factsheet indicates that as few as one in 13 rapes are reported to the police.

    Rape and how the process to report it

    As your legal companion, we believe in ensuring your rights are consistently upheld.

    Sadly, reporting a rape can prove to be difficult if one does not know the process.

    It is sometimes difficult to receive the correct help when you have been sexually assaulted. We provide a short guide that can help you get the correct feedback from the police.

    A guide to reporting rape and sexual assault at a Police station:

    • Go to the police station nearest to where the rape took place. No survivor may be turned away simply because the rape took place a long time ago or was committed in the station area of another police station. They will open a case but then refer the case back to the area nearest to the crime for investigation. It is advisable to report as soon as possible to give the police the best chance of gathering evidence.
    • You can ask to be seen in a private room at the police station and to give your statement to a female police officer.
    • A brief statement should be taken first and translated into your own language. If you are not in a state to have a full statement taken, the investigating officer will make an appointment with you for the following day or within 36 hours.
    • You have a right to be treated with respect for your dignity and to complain if this does not happen.
    • The police will take you to a medical facility for medical or forensic treatment. These medical units are called Thuthuzela Care Centres.

    Click here to view the complaint process should you ever be treated unfairly or unlawfully by any police officer.

      Obtaining a protection order

      With such a large proportion of rapes linked to domestic violence, we have prepared a domestic violence guide, which can also help you with information on obtaining a protection order, and provides the contact details of various organisations that can help you when you are being victimised, including People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), an organisation we at Legal&Tax are very proud to support.

      If you need legal advice you can speak to one of our legal advisors, who can guide you through the process and assist you with any queries.

      Seeking medical assistance dealing with the trauma

      If you are ever sexually abused or assaulted it is very important that you seek immediate medical attention. Our Trauma Assist benefit offers our members 24/7 assistance, and if need be you can request an ambulance to assist in stabilising you and provide emergency medical transportation to a suitable medical facility.

      You may be struggling to deal with the ongoing emotional trauma of having experienced a sexual assault. You may even be a family member of someone who has been assaulted and is struggling with the grief of what happened to your loved one. Our Trauma Assist service provides access to a trauma counsellor who will help you work through the trauma.

      How does it work?
      Look out for the SMS you will receive when you join.
      You MUST save this to speed dial.
      In an emergency, press the allocated button on your phone, and a crisis manager will call you within 30 seconds.

      With Legal&Tax you’re not alone

      We are here to support you, with legal advice, trauma assistance, and medical advice through our partners at ER24.

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