How to Report the Case - Where to go

You should in the first instance go the closest Netcare hospital to you. Within their trauma units they have special rape crisis units who will assist you – there will be no need to go to the police station should you go to Netcare as they will arrange for the police to come to you. Netcare provides service free of charge to rape survivors

In all other cases follow the steps below as provided by Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA)


You can report irrespective of whether you want to lay a charge or not (laying a charge means you want the case to go to court). Go to the police station to open a case. The officer will take your statement. This means that they will ask you what happened and write down your story. You should ask the officer to read the story to you when he’s finished to make sure that he understood you correctly. The officer should then take you to a hospital or clinic to get a medical exam or provide you with a J88 form. Police officers should always treat victims of sexual violence with respect. See here for the National Instructions on how police officers should behave and what their duties are. SAPS NATIPONAL INSTRUCTIONS

It is your responsibility to report the case, to prevent the rapist from hurting someone else!

  • Take a friend of family member with you
  • You have the RIGHT to speak to a female officer
  • You have the RIGHT to be spoken to in a private room
  • You have the RIGHT to speak to someone in your own language

Giving a statement
  • Telling in detail what happened
  • Ask for a copy – during the trail it is important to remember what you said
  • Can add to your statement later


If you do not have a Netcare close to you get to a clinic or hospital closest to you to get a medical exam. If you go to a police station and the police officer does not take you for a medical exam, you should go yourself. If you’ve been raped, you should go within 72 hours and make sure you do not shower before you go as you will destroy DNA. The doctor will fill out a form called a J88. Ask the doctor for a copy of the J88 but never take the original because if you have the original, it cannot be used in court. The original will go to the police officer and be put in your file, called a docket.

  • If you went to the police station first, they would take you to a Government hospital
  • You will undergo a forensic examination by the district surgeon – you can insist on the examiner to be female
  • The examiner will collect samples for DNA purposes i.e., hair, blood, or semen – this forms part of the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAECK)
  • This gathering of evidence will form part of the police investigation
  • Ensure you put your clothing which contains DNA in a paper bag or a newspaper – plastic destroys DNA
  • DNA needs to be collected within 48 hours after the incident
  • Take extra clothing as any clothing containing DNA will be kept

Meet with the Prosecutor to talk about your statement. Once the police have opened a docket for you, it will be given to a prosecutor and you will be assigned an investigation officer, who is a police officer in charge of your case. A prosecutor is a lawyer for the state and their job is to make sure that people who commit crimes go to jail. The prosecutor will want to know exactly what happened to you and make sure that your statement to the police is correct. They will also prepare you for being a witness in court. Both prosecutors and investigating officers have certain responsibilities towards you.

More details can be found in the document called the Department of Justice’s Guidelines for Prosecutors in Sexual Offenses


Tell your story in court as a witness. When the case goes to trial, you will be asked to tell your story in court, which is called “giving evidence” in court. It is very important that you stay calm and tell the truth. The lawyer representing the person who hurt you will try to make it seem like you are lying. So, it is very important that you do not panic and just remain calm while telling your story and answering questions.


Go to court for the judgment and sentence. When the trial is finished, the judge or magistrate will read the judgment and sentence in court. This is very important because it will tell you whether the person who hurt you is found guilty and how they will be punished. Depending on the crime, they might go to jail or they might just have to pay the court a fine. Sometimes they get a “suspended sentence”, which means that they will not go to jail immediately but if they do anything to hurt you again, they can go to jail without another trial. If you cannot go to court for the judgment, the investigating officer should contact you to tell you the outcome.


Go for counselling! Even if you think you are fine, being attacked by someone is a very difficult and traumatising experience and it’s always a good idea to go speak to someone about what happened to you. Talking about what happened to you is vital in your healing process and will support you to move on.

Ensure you ask to be referred to someone for legal advice.