Four Days Of Hell At iThemba Rape And Trauma Support Centre (In Benoni, East Rand)

As we move towards the World Trauma Day on the 17th October, one becomes acutely aware of the need to continue fighting for the rights of victims and to raise an awareness of the effect of trauma. Regardless of how much effort we put into preventing crime, sexual violence will always be with us.

This past weekend was a weekend of hell at the iThemba rape and trauma support centre between Friday and Monday our centre assisted with 12 cases. Friday evening started with a 61 year old lady who had been raped and stabbed and needed to be admitted to hospital, the first of four rape cases who were so brutally raped they all needed to be referred to a hospital for further medical treatment.

One of the four referred could barely walk she had been so badly violated, a mother of three children who now need someone else to look after them. Our youngest victim being a four year old rape victim also needed to go to hospital for reconstructive surgery whilst our oldest victim was a 70 year old lady who was gang-raped in her own home. The list could go on: a 13 year mentally challenged child, an 11 year old raped, a 12 year old raped by a family member, there was even a male rape who had also been severely assaulted and stabbed. The only good news our staff had from police was that there were three arrests made this weekend.

Philip Stoneman, director of iThemba stated: ” We may not stop rape, but we can ensure that effective systems are implemented to respond timously and effectively to victims of sexual violence, offering rape victims physical and emotional support so that they feel safe enough to come forward and report the rape to the police or at various rape crisis centres.We also need to make certain that the forensic examination of these rape victims is of a such a high standard, that when the police do arrest the perpetrator, we are certain of putting them away for a long time!”

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7 comments on “Four Days Of Hell At iThemba Rape And Trauma Support Centre (In Benoni, East Rand)
  1. Germinah Letaoana says:

    Good day, I am a 25 year old young woman from Brakpan. I am a survivor of rape and would like to talk to a professional about my experience because i never received proper counselling, i would also like to offer any kind of help to the centre if i can. My contact number is 078 610 1118

    • Damaria says:

      Hi Germinah
      I’ve forwarded your request for help to our partner in your area. They’ll be in touch with you soon. Please let me know as soon as they connect with you by leaving a message here, so I know your case is now being attended to.

  2. Magda says:

    I am dissapointed with Ithemba!! My daughter was raped last year August, during the first months we received excellent service, my daughter went for her HIV tests on a regular basis and we also received counceling as a family. Everytime my daughter had to go for the HIV test I was nervous and scared, luckily the result was negative each time. From last week I started getting nervous again, she was suppose to have her last test yesterday. As we were about to leave home to take her to Ithemba, our car broke down, I phoned Ithemba and explained the situation and asked it I could bring her through today 14 June 2011, the lady told me it is fine and I can bring her anytime between 8 and 4. So today we took her to Ithemba only to be told “sorry, we cannot test her, all the nurses are in training for the next month, but you can come back between 4 and 5”. I need to know then, what happens if there is an emergency? Will Ithemba turn rape victims away and tell them to come back between 4 & 5??? I’m still living with the pain of my daughter getting raped, and taking her for the HIV test is hell for me, not to mention my daughter, she sees how stressed I get before the HIV test. So for us as a family, it will be another few days of hell before I can get her tested. THANKS ITHEMBA!!!!!

    • CHERYL says:

      Sorry to hear this but when the other two sisters who worked there before were there you would have been assisted with the least
      amount of stress for you and your daughter. I AM SAD THIS HAS OCCURRED.

  3. Elaine says:


    My name is Elaine based in the East Rand. I would like to volunteer for any kind of help I can offer in my spare time. Please contact me

    • Niki says:

      Elaine, I have forwarded your email address to Ithemba, but removed it from your comment to protect your privacy. It’s good to see people get involved

  4. Shireen says:

    I am based in Benoni and would like to volunteer my spare time. Please contact me.