What is Rape?

What is Rape?


Rape can be defined as an action in which a person is forced or coerced into unwanted and non-consented sexual penetration.


What is Sexual Assault?


Sexual Assault can be defined as sexual conduct (actual, attempted or threatened) against someone’s consent.


The South African Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related matters) Amendment Act (Act 32 of 2007) states that it is a crime to intentionally commit a sexual act against another person without that person’s consent.


If you think you, or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, please follow these links to help you understand what has happened, what you should do now and what you should do next.


I’ve just been raped, what should I do? 

Have I just been raped or sexually assaulted?

How can I help someone who has been raped?  

Should I go to the doctor or the police first if I’ve been raped?

Do I have to report my rape or sexual assault to the police?    

How do I survive after I’ve been raped?  

Is rape my fault?  

Who can become a victim of rape? 

Who can be the perpetrators of rape?  

Are there organisations or support groups I can go to if I’ve been raped? 

What do I do if a friend has been raped?


In addition we have an information sheet to help dispel the myths surrounding rape, sexual assault and sexual violence.  




Birch, J., 2021. What you need to know about getting help if you’ve been sexually assaulted. [online] Teen Vogue. Available at: <https://www.teenvogue.com/story/sexual-assault-help> [Accessed 25 January 2021].


College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University. 2021. Sexual Assault Survivor’s Guide – CSB/SJU. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.csbsju.edu/chp/sexual-assault-survivors-guide. [Accessed 29 January 2021].


College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University. 2021. Sexual Assault Survivor’s Guide – CSB/SJU. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.csbsju.edu/chp/sexual-assault-survivors-guide#GettingBackOnTrack. [Accessed 31 January 2021].


Melinda. 2021. Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma – HelpGuide.org. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-trauma.htm. [Accessed 27 January 2021].


Myths about rape | Rape Crisis England & Wales. 2021. Myths about rape | Rape Crisis England & Wales. [ONLINE] Available at: https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/about-sexual-violence/myths-vs-realities/. [Accessed 27 January 2021].


nhs.uk. 2021. Help after rape and sexual assault – NHS. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/help-after-rape-and-sexual-assault/. [Accessed 29 January 2021].


Rape and Sexual Assault. 2021. Rape and Sexual Assault. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/rape-and-sexual-assault/. [Accessed 28 January 2021].


Rape and sexual assault – Citizens Advice . 2021. Rape and sexual assault – Citizens Advice . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/gender-violence/rape-and-sexual-assault/. [Accessed 29 January 2021].


Rikosuhripäivystys. 2021. Advice for victims of rape – Rikosuhripäivystys. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.riku.fi/en/guides-and-instructions/advice-for-victims-of-rape/. [Accessed 25 January 2021].


South African Government. 2021. Where can I find an organisation that offers assistance to victims of violence? | South African Government. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gov.za/faq/justice-and-crime-prevention/where-can-i-find-organisation-offers-assistance-victims-violence#. [Accessed 31 January 2021].


Tears Foundation. 2021. What to do if you are raped? – Tears Foundation. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.tears.co.za/what-to-do-if-you-are-raped/. [Accessed 31 January 2021].

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