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Sexual Assault & Rape Response

What should I do if I have been sexually assaulted or raped?

Step 1: If possible, get yourself to a safe place and, if it would help, inform someone you trust (eg a friend, warden, lecturer or head of department).

Step 2: Do not wash yourself.

If you think you need a forensic examination, do not clean yourself in any way until after the examination. This includes douching, showering, bathing, rinsing your mouth, wiping away stains or changing your clothing. If you go to the toilet, keep the toilet paper. Evidence on your body, clothes and toilet paper can be used to convict your attacker. Put clothes and toilet paper (if used) in a paper bag or a clean pillow case, and take it with you to Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit.

Step 3: Visit Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit within 72 hours of the incident for medical help and support.

You can do this by contacting:

  • The Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) on 021 650 3530 or 072 393 7824 to accompany you to Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit
  • Campus Protection Services on 021 650 2222 for help with transport to Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit
  • Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit on 021 799 1235 and get yourself to the hospital independently.

At Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit, you will receive medical help, an optional forensic examination, trauma counselling, follow-up care and legal support.

Step 4: Call the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 082 522 1078 to report the case. Reporting the case does not mean you are laying a charge.

  • Rape is a crime and should ideally be reported to the police. You can call the South African Police Service 24-hour emergency crime reporting centre on 10111.
  • Alternatively, you can call your nearest police station.

Step 5: Follow up on the legal process

  • Contact DISCHO on 021 650 3530 (office hrs) for advice on No-Contact Orders, UCT disciplinary options and advice on opening a criminal case.
  • Contact your nearest police station to lay a charge.
  • Alternatively, call Claremont Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit on 082 522 1078 for assistance in laying a charge.

Step 6: Consider counselling.

  • Contact Student Wellness Service for psychological support on 021 650 1017 (office hours).
  • Call the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust 24-hour helpline on 021 447 9762.

Step 7: Contact the UCT Sexual Assault Response Team on, at any stage of the process for any advice, complaints, concerns or extra support.


Useful Contacts

The Discrimination and Harassment Office (DISCHO) 021 650 3530 (office hrs)
072 393 7824 (after hrs)
  • Transport to Victoria Hospital
  • Advice on UCT disciplinary procedures
  • Academic liaison – assistance with negotiating extensions, leave of absence etc.
Campus Protection Services 021 650 2222
  • Investigation (on campus cases)
  • Collaboration with SAPS (where applicable)
  • Serving No-Contact Orders
Victoria Hospital Forensic Unit 021 799 1235
  • Medical assistance
  • Forensic examination (Optional)
  • Trauma counselling
  • Follow-up care
ER 24 084124
  • Medical assistance if you have sustained severe physical injuries.
Student Wellness (psychologist) 021 650 1017 (office hrs)
  • Psychological assistance
Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust 021 447 9762
  • Counselling
  • Court support
South African Police Service (SAPS)
SAPS 10111 Centre 10111
For emergency assistance
Your nearest police station
  • To report a case
  • To lay a charge
Claremont Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (SAPS) 082 522 1078
  • Investigation and management of criminal case
Sexual Assault Response Team at UCT
  • For any advice, complaints or concerns, please email us.