Bring back sexual offences courts says advocacy group

Allison Tilley, head of advocacy and special projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre, talks to Rebecca Davis, standing in for John Maytham, about the importance of bringing back specialised sexual offences courts to deal with rape cases.

If you have a specialised sexual offences court, which they are starting to look at now, you have a separate waiting room for the survivor, for the survivor's family and for witnesses who are going to testify for the survivor. Because you don't want to be facing those people supporting the accused.

Allison Tilley, head of advocacy and special projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre

Tilley says it is not uncommon for rape survivors to have to deal with the people supporting the alleged rapist. She says at the time of Jacob Zuma's rape trial, people thought it was "strange and unusual" to see such support for the accused, but she says it is not out of the ordinary.

It is fairly common for an accused to have vocal and prominent support in both the court room and out in the community.

she says it is useful to look back at what happened in past cases and learn what could be done differently.

History is never over.

Allison Tilley, head of advocacy and special projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre

Tilley says the establishment of these sexual offences courts need specialised personnel, structures and support.

You need prosecutors, magistrates that know what they are doing and understand post traumatic stress disorder, and who can deal with intermediaries when there are kids involved.

Allison Tilley, head of advocacy and special projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre

She says there are 276 courts in South Africa which deal with sexual offences matters, of which about 43 specialise in sexual offences cases.

The implementation of these courts requires cross departmental co-operation, and there is a model in place that can be followed. She says legislation is required to get things going. But she says, with the right impetus, these courts could come into effect within the next ten years.

Listen to the interview below:

Read More
The Distinguishing UCT Campaign aims to grow the varsity's general endowment

The Distinguishing UCT Campaign aims to grow the varsity's general endowment

The campaign to grow the endowment represents an investment in UCT’s future.

Two petrol attendants killed in Bishop Lavis may be gang-related

Two petrol attendants killed in Bishop Lavis may be gang-related

A teenager was killed on Thursday and Bishop Lavis CPF chair Graham Lindhorst says they are not sure if the incidents are linked.

Climate change a real cause for concern for African wild dogs

Climate change a real cause for concern for African wild dogs

Prof Rosie Woodroffe paints the dire consequences of climate change on wild dogs.

Find out how the law protects your income

Find out how the law protects your income

Labour Lawyer, Michael Bagraim explains how to fight to protect your income legally.

Imizamo Yethu community leaders condemn torching of two homes

Imizamo Yethu community leaders condemn torching of two homes

The houses of two community leaders in Hout Bay were set alight on Thursday afternoon.

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Serial killers, slavery and sieges

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Serial killers, slavery and sieges

John's three weekly book picks.

Popular articles
Disgruntled client behind hoax email - MiWay CEO

Disgruntled client behind hoax email - MiWay CEO

MiWay CEO Rene Otto has described a bogus email, in which black clients are referred to as 'baboons', as "fake news on steroids".

#BlackTwitter roasts Tbo Touch for his homeless man comments

#BlackTwitter roasts Tbo Touch for his homeless man comments

Media personality Tbo Touch trended on social media after tweeting about a homeless man.

Would you pay R1m for a parking bay in the Cape?

Would you pay R1m for a parking bay in the Cape?

Property strategist at FNB, John Loos speaks about the San Michelle rooftop car parking bay that went on sale for R990,000.

Post Office's Mark Barnes disappointed at Magwaza's departure from Sassa

Post Office's Mark Barnes disappointed at Magwaza's departure from Sassa

Barnes says Magwaza had sent him a letter expressing the agency's intentions to appoint the Post Office to pay social grants.

W Cape hard-hitting video will make you think twice before driving and texting

W Cape hard-hitting video will make you think twice before driving and texting

The Province's #ItCanWait Campaign uses CCTV footage of people walking and texting with disastrous consequences to make its point.

Glacier reveals bodies of Swiss couple missing for 75 years

Glacier reveals bodies of Swiss couple missing for 75 years

Adam Gilchrist has more on this tragedy that left 7 children orphaned.