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Rape victims advised to preserve evidence

10th May 2012
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Medical experts have cautioned rape victims in the country not to destroy evidence through changing clothes and taking a bath immediately the heinous act has been committed against them.

According to the medical experts, when one is raped she should report the matter to the police so as to obtain Police Form 3 and proceed to hospital within 72 hours for the prevention of the HIV virus.

Rape survivors are administered a drug called Prophylaxes to prevent them from HIV infection. However, this drug can only work within 72 hours after being infected. The victims have to undergo an HIV test to verify their status before being given the drug.

Dr. Zuberi Mzige of the Mwananyamala Hospital in Kinondoni District Dar es Salaam said most rape victims report to hospital without any evidence of rape because they take off their clothes and bathe after being raped. He added that many went to hospital after 72 hours had elapsed, thus risking HIV infection.

He said many cases lacked evidence because most victims went to hospital after changing their clothes and cleaning themselves, thus destroying the much required evidence for prosecution purposes.

According to Dr Prisca Berege, a paediatrician at the Mwananyamala hospital, there were many cases of rape among children and girls in Dar Es Salam city, calling for tough and immediate action to prevent far-reaching negative impact of rape, the worst form of gender-based violence (GBV).

Speaking to reporters engaged in GBV journalistic survey organized by TAMWA in 27 districts in the country, Kinondoni included, Dr Berege said there was a high rate of rape in Dar es Salaam and that the hospital received an average of three cases every day.

She added that most of these cases were reported at night.

Dr Berege cautioned families to avoid assigning their children activities at night.

She also called upon girls not to trust any man because many rape cases involve people who would not be suspected of committing the crime.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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