Having to endure the act of rape is traumatising enough but when the centre where you are supposed to be receiving help is in a state of disrepair, it makes the ordeal just a little more difficult.
This is one of the reasons why the non-profit organisation, Giving Gifts of Love, has decided to step in and help revamp the rape crisis centre, situated at Dora Nginza Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay.
With the wooden front door of the facility being patched from time to time and not replaced, the wind blows right through it, sometimes knocking it off its hinges.
The very same patched-up door is then refitted and business as usual takes place.
Apart from the door, the conditions of the walls, windows, floor and especially the blinds are quite bad, according to the NPO’s CEO, Desiree Goodwin.
“Almost everything is in a sad state, with broken and dirty blinds. The couches have all collapsed and nothing in the kitchen works, except the microwave.
“The fridge and kettle are broken but we have in the meantime bought a kettle for them,” Goodwin said.
She explained that since it’s a rape clinic, victims go there for medical check-ups, which means that there is an examination room, space for the nurse, an office for the National Prosecuting Authority, a waiting room, an office for the police where they take statements and there is space for a counsellor to provide therapy.
“There are different departments working together there, which creates a problem because nobody wants to take responsibility for the maintenance and there just appears to have been no maintenance for a good few years, so everything is derelict,” she explained.
Goodwin added that her NPO has been involved with the rape crisis centre for years, where they have been providing comfort packages, consisting of toiletries, underwear, blankets and toys for victims.
For Women’s Month, the NPO wanted to do a project to try to revamp the facility but they are still in dire need of donations in order to do so.
They are currently in need of paint, curtains, cutlery and crockery for the kitchen, cleaning supplies, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, cereals, soup, noodles and juice to provide for the victims.
“Toiletries are always welcome: soap, toothpaste, a face cloth, roll-on, sanitary products and bath towels for the comfort package. If anyone would be willing to donate a fridge or stove, that would be appreciated too,” Goodwin said.
“We would like the place to be more comforting and be a comfortable environment for all rape victims, since rape is the worst thing that a person has to endure.
“We are appealing for help to make this environment more comfortable for the victims who enter this clinic on a daily basis.
“Let’s take up the challenge to improve the lives of others.”
Anyone who would like to get involved in any way, can contact Goodwin on 082 879 8960.