Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary victimisation and to build a case ready for successful prosecution. Fifty one centres have been established since 2006.
The Thuthuzela project is led by the NPA’s Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit (SOCA), in partnership with various departments and donors as a response to the urgent need for an integrated strategy for prevention, response and support for rape victims. Since its establishment, the SOCA Unit has been working to develop best practices and policies that seek to eradicate victimisation of women and children, while improving prosecution, particularly in the areas of sexual offences, maintenance, child justice and domestic violence.
Thuthuzela Care Centre operations: How does the TCC work?
Step 1: You can report a rape case directly to a TCC (based at community clinics or hospitals) or to a police station
Step 2: TCC staff will assist to get you immediate medical attention at the Centre
Step 3: TCC staff will arrange counselling services at the Centre
Step 4: TCC staff will assist you to open a police case (if you want to do so immediately or even at a later stage)
Step 5: TCC staff will arrange for on-going counselling and court preparation (if the case goes on trial)
Services offered at the Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs)
- Welcome and comfort from a site co-coordinator or nurse.
- An explanation of how the medical examination will be conducted and what clothing might be taken for evidence.
- A consent form to sign that allows the doctor to conduct the medical examination.
- A nurse in the examination room.
- After the medical examination, there are bath or shower facilities for victim use.
- An investigation officer will interview the survivor and take his/her statement.
- A social worker or nurse will offer counseling.
- A nurse arranges for follow-up visits, treatment and medication for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV and AIDS.
- A referral letter or appointment will be made for long-term counseling.
- The victim (survivor) is offered transportation home by an ambulance or the investigating officer.
- Arrangements for the survivor to go to a place of safety, if necessary.
- Consultations with a specialist prosecutor before the case go to court.
- Court preparation by a victim assistant officer.
- An explanation of the outcome and update of the trial process by a case manager.