Advocacy group Health-e News has created a valuable tool that could prove invaluable to survivors of rape or sexual assault.
Free and available to everyone, it’s an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code that you punch into your phone after which it sends you the location of the nearest Thuthuzela Care Centre, hospital, 24-hour clinic and shelter for sexual violence survivors via SMS.
Thuthuzela Care Centres are rape care centres linked to hospitals where survivors can receive counselling and a medical examination after rape.
The code is 1341994*1#, which readers are urged to save on their phones.
Health-e News Kim Harrisber says the survivor support service was created and largely inspired by Doctors without Borders in Rustenburg.
That interviewed many rape survivors and they found that 95% didn't go to a health facility after being raped. One in five HIV infections were linked to rape and abortions were linked to rape.— Kim Harrisber , Health-e News
So as a Health-e News service, we didn't want to continue just to be reporting on rape without trying to provide them with tools and information to say you are entitled to access this health benefits if you go to a hospital after a rape you should be accessing these health benefits.— Kim Harrisber , Health-e News
Listen to the full interview below...