Only 8.6% of all rape cases reported to police result in a conviction
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Victims often face overwhelming challenges when trying to secure justice.
By providing holistic and integrated services, LvA’s dedicated attorneys and therapists ensure that our clients never have to walk this road alone. In doing so, we seek to create accountability where impunity would otherwise exist and to push the justice system to work the way it is supposed to.
And so today, we are very excited to share with you two such stories of accountability, as two men were successfully convicted and sentenced for rape.
7-year old Khomba* was referred to LvA in January 2017 by the police officer responsible for investigating her case. She was raped by a man who runs a tuck shop in her neighbourhood. He is a known serial rapist, targeting children who come to him, including Khomba’s cousin. At the time, the prosecutor did not believe the case would go to trial as Khomba was unable to speak about what had happened to her. Taking a holistic approach, LvA provided both legal and psychosocial support to not only Khomba, but also to her mother and other family members - equipping them to support Khomba through this process. After working with LvA’s drama therapist for several months, Khomba was able and ready to tell her story to the court. As soon as that happened, the accused changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ and was recently convicted and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
17-year old Lesedi* was attacked and raped while taking a short-cut on her way home. Lesedi fought back during the attack and the accused was arrested when he sought medical care for his injuries. Since February 2017, LvA’s senior attorney, Rethabile, has provided ongoing legal support to Lesedi. During this time, DNA collected by SAPS at the crime scene was successfully matched to the suspect. Additionally, the DNA also matched another case that was about to be closed where the suspect’s identity was previously unknown. With the positive DNA results, the accused pled guilty in both cases and was convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
While we celebrate each of these victories, the sad reality is that there are tens of thousands of women and children who need our help in communities across South Africa. To learn more about how to get involved, please visit www.lva.org.za.