Rape & Sexual Assault

Rape is a type of sexual assault involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.

Statutory Rape: occurs when someone commits an act of penetration with a child between the ages of 12 and 16 whether or not they concent (if both people involved in this are under the age of 16 there may be a decision not to prosecute)

Incest: With or without consent, it’s a crime to sexually penetrate blood relations (mother, sister, brother, father, first cousins, aunts and uncles) or to penetrate adoptive relations.

Sexual Assault: Sexual acts that don’t fit the definition of rape or the threat of sexual acts that occur without concent.  Sexual assault replaces what used to be termed indecent assault in South African law.


  • Go to a safe place as soon as possible
  • Report your case at the nearest police station, hospital or clinic.
  • You need to receive medication to prevent HIV infection (PEP), STI’s (Sexual Transmitted Infection) and pregnancy (MAP – Morning After Pill) 
    Receiving PEP within 6 hours is preferable but the maximum delay is 72 hours (three days) after exposure.
  • Do not wash yourself, no matter how much you want to.  You might destroy important evidence that can be used to prosecute the perpetrator.
  • Do not through away the clothes you were wearing.  You can take them off and place them in a box, paper bag or wrap in newspaper - not in a plastic bag (it can destroy evidence) - in order to retain the evidence.
  • Keep any toilet paper and other sanitary material if you need to use the bathroom.  This must be air dried and be placed in an envelope or paper bag.
  • Do not consume any drink or food before the doctor examines you, if the perpetrator has kissed or orally rape you.  However, if you do, it’s important to tell the doctor.