Clinic cries for increased use

In a bid to boost reports of rape and other crimes, the Alex Forensic Medicines Clinic has urged the public to help the police and the courts to increase the success rate of prosecutions by utilising its services more.

This as concerns mount in the township about unrelenting crime including rape, domestic violence and drunk driving which require forensic evidence to ensure successful prosecutions.

Despite some arrests and convictions, the general perception is that the public doesn’t report all crimes due to a belief that the police and the courts have a low success rate in arrests and prosecutions; victims’ fear of being shamed by the public; the loss of a breadwinner who may be a perpetrator; and also parents neglecting their children’s safety.

The evidence the clinic tests are blood, fluid and tissue specimens that are taken from suspects and victims, within a specified period, for the court to consider as conclusive evidence when passing judgement on the accused.

The clinic also treats and protects rape and sodomy victims from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/Aids. The clinic’s unit manager, sister Lyndie Faca, said they can do a lot to help crime victims. She cited three-year-old rape victims, children abused by people entrusted with their care at home and when transporting them to school, as examples.

“Others are 18-year-old sodomy victims and young girls lured into homes with monetary and material promises, only to be raped. Some come for help when it’s too late and claim that they had been threatened by the perpetrator not to report to the police,” Faca said.

She urged parents to be part of their children’s daily lives by checking on their welfare and talking to them when they detect possible abuse, discourage them from attending wild parties where gang rape happens and to approach the police and clinic when suspicious of any abuse of their children.

She commended NPOs Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training, the Victim Empowerment Unit at the police station, social workers and the police for referring victims.

“Despite these partnerships, there is still a need for more awareness to help avoid delayed reporting of rape incidents. More mediums like radio stations should also help to publicise our services.”

The clinic is one of a few in the city and besides Alex, it also covers the Midrand, Sandton, Randburg and Sandringham areas.

Details: Alex Clinical Forensic Medicines Clinic 011 440 7565.

Read: Forensic clinic to hasten woman child abuse prosecutions

Share your stance on reporting rape to the police on WhatsApp 079 439 5345.

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