Rape Forensic Unit | Western Cape Government

Rape Forensic Unit


Rape Forensic UnitsFor any person, rape or sexual assault is a traumatic experience, and we want to help you on the road to physical, medical and emotional recovery. Together, the Western Cape Department of Health and other non-governmental organisations offer the following to survivors:

This forensic unit is the referral centre for 22 police stations, including Simon’s Town, Grassy Park and Milnerton. After an ordeal, rape and sexual assault survivors from the indicated geographical drainage area will receive treatment and counselling at the Victoria Hospital facility, or one of the other metro clinical forensic services drainage areas if the incident occurred in another location.

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


Rape Forensic UnitsHere are some answers to the difficult questions you might have if you, or someone close to you, have been raped or sexually assaulted:

Do I have to go to a clinic or hospital after being raped or sexually assaulted? 

If you or someone close to you survived any sexual offence, we urge you to seek medical help as soon as possible after the incident. The sooner you go, the better. This will help for:

  • evidence to be collected (where possible),
  • medical tests to be done and
  • medication to be provided to prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and unwanted pregnancy.

Consultations are free of charge. 

The easiest way to arrange access and transport to a designated Department of Health facility, is to report to your closest day hospital or police station, who should contact the appropriate health care facility where these cases are attended to.  Usually, if a case is reported to SAPS, the specialised unit that deals with these cases will be contacted, and a detective will typically provide transport to the appropriate health care facility.

What do I do first if I’ve been raped or sexually assaulted in the last 120 hours?

You can either go straight to your local police office or go to the Rape Forensic Unit or closest Health Facility where you’ll be referred to an appropriate centre.

If you know someone who you trust and that you can talk to about the incident, ask him or her to stay with you throughout. The medical examination aims to collect forensic evidence. 

You should avoid:

  • having a shower, taking a bath, or washing- up,
  • changing your clothing, or if you've changed clothing, don't wash the clothing and bring any clothing, sheets, or items that may contain evidence with you to the health care facility. Note: If possible, bring a spare set of clothes with you. Place the unwashed clothing and/or other items in a paper bag or roll it up in a newspaper. Don’t put it in a plastic bag because this may ruin the evidence, and/or 
  • smoking, eating, drinking or brushing your teeth until you've been examined so that evidence can be collected if forced kissing or oral penetration occurred.

These services are available 24 hours a day at designated Department of Health facilities across the Western Cape.

Additional to NGO’s, Community Cohesion provides aftercare support (Victim Empowerment Officer) to survivors. This includes counselling and liaising with other NGO’s. You can call them at 082 431 3342.

Do I have to decide to lay a charge at the police station immediately?

No. You have access to medical care and treatment whether you lay a charge with the police or not.  It's advisable to seek medical help as soon as possible.  You may lay a charge at your local police station at any time.

If the survivor is a child or a person with any mental impairment, a case must by law be opened with the police.

What will happen at the clinic or hospital?

When you arrive at the nearest health care facility, the following may be offered, depending on the history of the case, time since the incident, and whether you lay a charge with the police or not:

  • medical advice and tests (for HIV, pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections),
  • medical examination with or without evidence collection,
  • medical treatment (prevention against HIV, pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections), and
  • treatment for any other injuries. 

Follow-up consultations will also be scheduled for you.  Your injuries will be carefully documented, and counselling may be offered if available on-site, or you'll be referred for counselling.

Where's my nearest clinic with services for rape survivors?

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

The table below provides you with the contact details of the clinics in the bigger Cape Town area.


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

 Fax: (021) 799 1118


 Tel: (021) 918 1321

 Fax: (021) 918 1341


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

 Fax:  (021) 691 7962


 Tel: (021) 360 4293

 Fax: (021) 360 4570


Drainage area


Cape Town

Southern Suburbs

Northern Atlantic Seaboard



Northern Suburbs



Cape Flats





Police stations covered



1.   Camps Bay
 2.   Cape Town
 3.   Claremont
 4.   Diep River
 5.   Fish Hoek
 6.   Grassy Park
 7.   Hout Bay
 8.   Kensington
 9.   Kirstenhof
 10. Maitland
 11. Milnerton
 12. Mowbray
 13. Muizenberg
 14. Ocean View
 15. Rondebosch
 16. Sea Point
 17. Simon’s Town
 18. Steenberg
 19. Table Bay Harbour
 20. Tableview
 21. Woodstock
 22. Wynberg


 1.   Belville
 2.   Bishop Lavis
 3.   Bonteheuwel
 4.   Bothasig
 5.   Brackenfell
 6.   Delft
 7.   Durbanville
 8.   Eerste River
 9.   Elsies River
 10. Goodwood
 11. Kleinvlei
 12. Kraaifontein
 13. Kuils River
 14. Langa
 15. Mfuleni
 16. Parow
 17. Pinelands
 18. Ravensmead


 1.   Athlone
 2.   Gugulethu
 3.   Lansdowne
 4.   Manenberg
 5.   Mitchell’s Plain
 6.   Nyanga
 7.   Phillipi
 8.   Phillipi-East
 9.   Strandfontein
 10. Heideveld
 11. Crossroads


 1.    Harare
 2.   Khayelitsha
 3.   Lingelethu-West


Various private organisations also work in the area of sexual abuse:



Contact details

 Life Line 

 24-hour telephone counselling for general trauma.

 (021) 461 1111

 Child Line 

 24-hour telephone counselling for general trauma  in children.

 (021) 461 1114

 Ilitha Labantu 

 Counselling in violence against women in general.

 (021) 633 2383

 Nicro Women's Support  Centre 

 Counselling and advice for battered women.

 (021) 422 1690

 Rape Crisis (Observatory)

 24-hour counselling and advice for sexual assault  survivors 14 years and older.

 (021) 447 9762

 Rape Crisis (Khayelitsha) 

 24-hour counselling and advice for sexual assault  survivors 14 years and older.

 (021) 361 9085

 Rape Crisis (Athlone)

 24-hour counselling and advice for sexual assault  survivors 14 years and older.

 (021) 633 9229

 Black Sash 

 General legal advice.

 (021) 425 3417


 Resources aimed at the prevention of child abuse  and neglect.

 (021) 712 2330


 Counselling and advice service for abused children,  16 and younger.

 (0800) 035553 (toll free)


 Family, marriage and couple counselling.

 (021) 447 0170

 Triangle Project 

 Counselling around issues of sexuality.

 (021) 448 3812

 Trauma Centre for Victims of  Violence and Torture 

 Counselling service for general trauma, and  violence.

 (021) 465 7373

 The Warrior Project

 Addresses violence on the basis of gender and  domestic violence by providing information and  access to help.

 (010) 590 5920



WCG VIDEO: What are Thutuleza 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 the 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

Read more:


Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Department of Health and Wellness, Western Cape Government)

Free of charge.

The content on this page was last updated on 20 April 2023