Experience of women who reported sexual assault in a Provincial Hospital North West Province
Sexual assault has been in existence since the dawn of civilization with its negative impact on the physical and psychological being of women. However, little has been done to formally explore and describe experiences of sexually assaulted women in the North West Province. This study described and explored the experiences of sexually assaulted women in the North West Province. A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive design was used to describe the experiences of sexually assaulted women. Participants were purposively selected and 18 women participated in this study. Participants' ages ranged from 18-55 and all these women reported at the Thuthuzela Care Centre. Individual in-depth interviews and field notes were used to collect data. Conversations were audio taped while field notes were documented by the researcher. The purpose of the study was to use findings to make some recommendations that will provide individual support to women who are sexually assaulted. It was apparent from the findings that all victims interviewed experienced physical, social and psychological/ emotional trauma resulting from sexual assault. Dissatisfaction with the services provided by the police was also displayed. Victims indicated their need for support post sexual assault. The study recommended the development of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) that will support victims from trauma until trial. Development of an inter-professional Education (IPE) curriculum in universities aiming at producing sensitized, empathetic, non-blaming and non judgmental attitude by professionals involved in management of sexual assault is also recommended. The approach is hoped to enhance an understanding of each team member's role in dealing with victims of Sexual Assault.
- Health Sciences