A 22-year-old student at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) who was allegedly raped on campus said she felt violated a second time because of the treatment she received from the local police and the university.
The third-year student was allegedly raped inside the campus bathroom by an unknown man. According to the victim, CCTV footage showed how she was being stalked and followed as she was walking towards the bathroom.
Traumatised and sobbing, the victim said she was drinking at the campus pub on Saturday and needed to use the bathroom.
She did not notice that she was being followed to the bathroom.
“As I entered the toilet the guy quickly pushed the door and locked us inside. I was terrified. I begged him to get out. In response he told me he’d seen me at the pub and wanted to speak to be but I’d ignored him.
“I screamed for help and tried fighting him, but he pushed me against the wall and raped me.”
The man ran away as another girl entered the bathroom and she ran to call the security, who later called the police. The victim said when other students told her the institution was silent when it came to rape cases, she felt hopeless.
The victim’s older sister said the institution had failed the family as they did not follow up with the case and that they should have heard about the incident from the institution.
“We are really disappointed and worried that my sister will not get justice because we discovered that rape incidents are taken lightly here.
“They blame the students for drinking, which leads to them being raped. We really do not understand how the blame can be shifted to the victims because it is the institution that has a pub on campus.”
She said that even at the Bellville South police station, where the rape was reported, police officers hesitated to take her sister’s statement because they heard she had been drinking when she was assaulted.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said a rape case had been registered and the investigation was continuing.
UWC spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the institution regarded these kinds of incidents as serious. The complaint was logged with the university’s security services at 3.01am.
“They immediately attended to the student. At 3.14am SAPS Bellville South was contacted to attend to the student. A student development officer attended to the student for counselling purposes and Bellville South SAPS arrived on campus. at 4:17am.
“The student, her relatives and SAPS officers left campus for the Bellville South Police Station.”
Tyhalibongo said, given the circumstances described, they encouraged the family to take up the matter with the SAPS Complaints Directorate or the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.