Where can you get support for sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is when someone performs sexual acts with or around you, without your consent. Often victims of sexual abuse find themselves lost and lonely, at times not knowing where to go for help or too afraid to speak about the abuse for fear of being judged. If you or someone you know is being sexually abused there are places you can contact to get help.
Sexual abuse includes:
Kissing someone without their consent.
Contact with the genitals, anus or breasts of another person.
Unwanted contact with any other part of another person’s body in a way that causes the person to be sexually aroused.
Contact with any object that looks like the genitals, anus or breasts. For example, using sex toys.
Contact with the genital organs or anus of an animal, also known as bestiality.
Inserting an object that looks similar to human or animal genitals, like inserting a vibrator into a person’s mouth.
Masturbating or performing oral sex on someone without their consent.
Direct or indirect contact between the genitals, anus or breasts of one person and another part of the body of another person, object or animal. For example, touching a woman’s anus without her agreeing to it.
You can get help at the following places:
South African Police Service
In a case of domestic violence or sexual assault, the South African Police Service will help you find medical attention, shelter and counselling. You can contact the SAPS on their emergency number: 10111 or visit your nearest police station.
People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)
POWA provides counselling, both over the phone and in person, temporary shelter and legal help to women who have experienced violence.
Childline South Africa
Childline South Africa is a non-profit organisation that helps abused children and their families with a free counselling service. It deals with issues such as physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems and trafficking, and also gives legal advice. You can contact them on the toll-free number: 0800 055 555.
Child Welfare South Africa
Child Welfare South Africa focuses on child protection, child care and family development. Neglect and child abuse can also be reported. If you, or someone you know are underaged and being abused, you can contact Child Welfare Services at: 074 080 8315.
Families South Africa (Famsa)
Famsa provides counselling and education to help improve marriages and families. It helps in cases of domestic violence, trauma and divorce. There are 27 offices across the country. You can contact them on this number: 011 975 7106/7.
TEARS Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. You can contact them on their free SMS helpline: *134*7355# or on the number, 0105905920.
The Trauma Centre
The Trauma Centre provides trauma counselling and violence prevention services for people affected by violence. You can contact them on the number: 021 465 7373.
Thuthuzela Care Centres
Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary victimisation (being insensitive to victims and implying that they’re to blame for the abuse) and to build a case ready for successful prosecution. The website also provides access to information on gender-based violence.
I know that experiencing sexual abuse can cause shame and a lot of other painful emotions, but help is available if you’ve survived any form of abuse, Choma. You don’t have to go through it alone.
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