Global Resources

Client experience of rape victims accessing governmental post-rape services in South Africa

Author: S. Johnson, N.B. Mahlalela, E. Mills
Publisher: Institute of Development Studies UK
Publication Date: Jan 2017
The absence of feedback mechanisms through which rape victims can hold government accountable for the quality of post-rape service delivery informed the rationale for the intervention discussed in this report. The study aims to better understand the experiences of rape victims accessing governmental post-rape services in South Africa. It was part of a larger intervention to develop an e-governance mobile phone ratings app for reporting user satisfaction with post-rape services, which aimed to improve accountability and responsiveness. Participants highlighted positive, negative and often mixed experiences in accessing post-rape services. Entry to centres was often delayed due to low levels of awareness, indirect referrals and delays at police stations. Positive experiences were characterised as welcoming, friendly, empathetic and non-judgemental. Negative experiences were characterised as threatening, blaming, physiologically taxing and lacking in empathy. Inadequate follow-up, delays in progress of cases, and poor communication and quality of information contributed to dissatisfaction with services.
The findings of the study were used to inform the design and content of the app, as well as its technology platform and the content of marketing material. These contributed to its successful piloting and use.