What you need to know about rape forensic units | Western Cape Government

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What you need to know about rape forensic units


Receiving counsellingExperiencing rape or any kind of sexual assault is traumatic. Many victims and survivors can (and do) overcome the associated trauma. For some, it's an emotional and physical injury that lasts for years leaving lifelong scars. 

We want to help you on the road to physical, medical, and emotional recovery. The Western Cape Department of Health with other non-governmental organisations offer the following to rape and sexual assault survivors:

  • counselling,
  • medical advice,
  • tests and treatment, and
  • evidence collection, if the case is reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS). 

What are rape forensic units?

Rape forensic units are centres set-up to assist victims of sexual assault. There are 4 rape forensic units available to the public in the bigger Cape Town area, at Karl Bremer Hospital, Khayelitsha Hospital, Mitchells Plain/Heideveld, and Victoria Hospital. There’s also one in Atlantis at Wesfleur Hospital. 

Patients are seen according to the drainage areas (immediate surrounding areas) served by these units. For example, if the incident took place in the Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas, you’ll be referred to the forensic unit at Mitchells Plain Hospital.

Rape and sexual assault survivors from the indicated geographical drainage area will receive treatment and counselling at a hospital facility or one of the other clinical forensic services drainage areas if the incident occurred in another location.

This means you'll be seen at the clinic according to where the incident happened, and not necessarily the closest one to where you live.



Metro clinic forensic services drainage areas




Victoria Hospital  (Wynberg)


Karl Bremer (Goodwood)


Mitchell's Plain Hospital


Heideveld Clinic


Khayelitsha Hospital (Khayelitsha)


 Service provider


Clinical Forensic Unit







 Contact details


 Tel: (021) 799 1235



 Tel: (021) 918 1321



 Tel:  (021) 637 9431/  (021) 699 0474



 Tel: (021) 360 4293



Drainage area


Cape Town

Southern Suburbs

Northern Atlantic Seaboard



Northern Suburbs



Cape Flats


























What are Thuthuzela Care Centres?

Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s anti-rape strategy, aiming to reduce secondary victimisation, improve conviction rates and reduce the cycle time for finalisation of cases.

The Thuthuzela Care Centres provide a place of comfort for survivors and give them access to medical professionals, skilled prosecutors, social workers, magistrates, NGOs, and the police. Survivors of rape or sexual assault can receive medical treatment, therapy and legal support in one location, rather than being moved around throughout the criminal justice system.

The centres can be found in public hospitals across the country. They’re also linked to sexual offences courts, and can assist survivors legally if they decide to lay charges.  

When survivors arrive at a Thuthuzela Care Centre they’ll receive counselling in a quiet and private room by the site coordinator. A medical examination will then be conducted if the survivor provides consent. Survivors are then given a chance to wash and change into clean clothing if the exam was conducted within 72 hours after the rape.

Thereafter, the survivor receives the appropriate medication and is given a follow-up date for further medical treatment before being transported home.

All consultations at Thuthuzela Care Centres are free of charge. 

Find a Thuthuzela Care Centre closest to you

The content on this page was last updated on 26 November 2019