February 2011 saw Rape Crisis becoming actively involved in the Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) at Karl Bremer Hospital by providing a 24 hour counselling service. We were fortunate to have been building on the years of experience we had already gained at the TCC at Jooste Hospital. We always understood that there would be contextual differences. We felt excited at the prospect because we knew that it would help Rape Crisis build on our knowledge base so that we could provide an effective service to survivors who would experience no secondary trauma and take their trials to completion. We continue to learn through monitoring and evaluating both ourselves and the stakeholders at the TCC’s. More importantly we hold each other accountable and constantly strive for a client centred approach.
As coordinator of the Karl Bremer Project a critical lesson I’ve learnt is the value of building relationships amongst stakeholders. Stakeholders as you are no doubt aware are the nurse, doctor, Victim Assistance Officer, Site Coordinator, Investigating Officers, Case Manager and we as counsellors on site. All of us are working towards ensuring that each and every survivor who accesses services at the TCC’s is treated with respect, feels safe and well supported throughout the process.
As Barbara Williams (TCC Jooste Project Coordinator) puts it “if we work together as a team we will ultimately add to the healing process of survivors”. As stakeholders, it is evident that we all share the same vision in reducing secondary trauma which speaks to the passion and compassion for survivors.
Shiralee Mc Donald