Each year the SAPS give recognition to police employees who have excelled in the job they do. We celebrate these men and women in blue by telling each one’s story. Refer to our article published from pp 48 in Servamus: March 2018.
Do you have an idea what to do if you are kidnapped? Irrespective of whether it happens during a hijacking or someone has other intentions. We share valuable tips of what you should do in a hostage situation.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are so desperate that they secretly hide on trains, ships and airplanes in search of a better life. Learn more about the reality of stowaways in the Servamus: March 2018.
- The vital importance of victim impact statements in the court process
Compiled by Annalise Kempen in cooperation with Rhona van Niekerk*
In high profile cases such as that of the Modimolle monster or Oscar Pistorius, the public heard, through the media, what impact the violent crime had on the victim and their families. They heard about the psychological and physical scars which both victims and even their siblings could carry with them, potentially for the rest of their lives. However, not all victims have the opportunity or courage to verbalise every way in which crime has impacted on their lives when they stand in the witness box. This makes one wonder - is there someone/something who can “speak” on the victim’s behalf to show the court how that person’s life has changed since the crime? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
- The fate of victims of sexual crimes
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
“You were wearing a low cut, short mini dress, what did you expect?” Those are often the first words a rape victim hears when she tells someone from whom she trusted to get support, after she was raped by a friend at a party. Victims who come forward to report what happened, often have to answer ridiculous questions such as: “How much did you drink?” or “what did you wear?” These questions about the victim’s behaviour and choices are sometimes almost as painful as the violent act itself. Victims often stumble upon rape culture: a culture in which sexual violence is the norm and victims are blamed for the attacks on them.
- Finding the answers and looking at the consequences
By Annalise Kempen
If you have been the victim of a property-related crime such as a housebreaking, stay in an urban area or have relatively easy access to a police station, chances are very good that you will report it to the police. For many victims the main reason for reporting such crimes is nothing more than the requirement of their short-term insurance cover to obtain a police case number in order to submit a claim. But what if you don't have insurance or easy access to a police station? Would you still take the trouble to report the crime to the police?
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Selected photos by Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp
People sleeping on sheets of cardboard under dirty old blankets on pavements or on dark park benches are a familiar sight when driving through the suburbs late at night. Their possessions often consist of a plastic bag containing clothes, a blanket and a few sheets of cardboard. They have become part of the urban landscape, so much so that we seldom pay much attention to them. But being homeless also means having no food, so we often see these people walking from one dustbin to another, looking for something to eat. Being without a home must be an incredibly difficult situation for anyone to be in, since our houses are our safe havens - irrespective of whether your house is a luxury home in a suburb or an informal shack in a township.