Rape crisis recuperated after retrenching all its staff

In 2012 Rape Crisis South Africa was forced to retrench all of its staff members except for one. Due to the global economic crisis they had no funding to keep the organisation well-functioning. Even after retrenchments the staff continued to work without pay for several months, ensuring that they could still make a difference.

The 2012 police crime statistics state that in 2011/2012 there were a total of 9193 sexual offences reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the Western Cape. This translates into just under 27 cases per day. In total, 64 514 sexual offences were reported countrywide for that period.

Established in 1976, Rape Crisis is the oldest organisation in South Africa supporting the recovery of rape survivors. Rape Crisis works closely with nurses, doctors, police officers, prosecutors and magistrates to ensure that the survivors get the professionals help needed to recover.

While things were dark and gloomy at Rape Crisis they received support for the first time from the British High Commission. Oxfam and Anglo American also came to the party with their support which eventually got the organisation on its feet again. With the help of other NGOs they also developed and implemented a strong advancement strategy that strengthened the organisation and drew support for the work they do.

Kathleen Dey, Director at Rape Crisis, told CapeTalk presenter Kieno Kammies that the rape and murder of Anene Booysen touched many people to come forward to offer their support, time and expertise.

What we learned was that we have to position ourselves in the market, we have to behave like a business in a certain way. We had to think about how we portray ourselves to the world and think about how well people know about us and get to know about us, what we do and why we do what we do so that people can support us in a whole bunch of ways.

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