Aphelele Mtotywa is the Manager of the Makana Rape Survivor Support Group. Here she tells us about the organisation and how to access the assistance it offers.
The Makana Rape Survivor Support Group is a Gender Based Violence (GBV) non-profit organisation that was established in 2002. It is responsible for the whole of Makana – Makhanda, Alicedale, Riebeeck East, Seven Fountains, Salem, Fort Brown and surrounding farms. We cater for both female and male victims of any GBV act.
The organisation has eight caregivers who offer emotional and some psychological support to our survivors. Our aim is to prevent secondary traumatisation.
We strive to protect our survivors at all times – from our first encounter (when they report at the police station or when they call us), right up to the last court date (if survivor decides to lay a charge against the perpetrator). We also do follow-up calls.
We work with several stakeholders including SAPS and Social Development. We usually refer survivors to Social Development for further intervention, especially in a case where a child is involved.
Currently the organisation has two centres, namely, the White Door and the Safe House.
The White Door Centre is based at the Grahamstown and Joza Police stations and the Ukulunga Kwethu Safe House is at a secret location for the safety of our survivors.
FOR HELP, CALL THESE NUMBERS ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT
Support Centre: 060 428 1689
Safe House: 060 478 7812
What assistance can the support group provide to a rape survivor ?
- Ideally we would like for the survivor to come to the police station as soon as possible. The survivor calls or goes to their nearest police station, or calls the centre (caregiver on duty).
- The caregiver sits down with the survivor for a brief counselling session. The caregiver also uses that time to set up an appointment at the hospital and asks the survivor if they would like to open a case or not.
- After the counselling session, the caregiver accompanies the survivor to the hospital, where a medical professional will examine the survivor.
- We then ask the survivor if they would be okay with going home or would they rather prefer going to our Safe House.
- If a survivor opens a case, the caregiver accompanies the survivor to all court dates. After all of that, the caregivers do a follow-up call/visit to check up on the survivors well-being.
- At the Safe House, we admit any person who feels they are at risk in their own environment.
Organisation and structure
The group is the same one that previously offered support to rape survivors. We have recently elected new board members and the organisation for the first time now has a manager.
The organisation has a Facebook page called Makana RSSG. We are also located at both the Grahamstown and Joza Police Stations.
How can the public help?
The organisation depends solely on donations we receive from companies; however, we have been so lucky to have the Department of Social Development as one of main funders.
Members of the public can assist us by donating any old clothes they might no longer need, as well as toiletries and toys.
We are still in the process of buying our own Safe House, a more permanent property. That being said, we could also use more money…
- Aphelele Mtotywa is the Manager of the Makana Rape Survivor Support Group.