Crisis centre serves community

Dr Simon Mosheledi, Sinah Mahlangu, Dineo Mokoni, Nontobeko Mthandeki, Busisiwe Tshabalala and Thandi Sibeko make up the team which supports Sister Kate Skosana (seated) at Tsakane Care Centre.

Tsakane – Sister Kate Skosana has been running Tsakane Care Centre since 2014 and hopes more people in the community will use the services they provide.

The centre, popularly known as Old Tsakane Clinic (New Start), keeps its doors open seven days a week to serve the community.

“We were transferred from Far East Rand Hospital Crisis Centre to be closer to the people who need us most,” explains Skosana.

Their most common cases are related to sexual assaults, domestic violence, drunk driving, substance abuse and HIV testing.

“Most of our patients are brought in by the SAPS, after they report offences.

“In the case of suspected drunken drivers, we test their alcohol levels as evidence that may be used in court,” she says.

Skosana says in the short time that they have been in Tsakane, they have become alarmed at the rate of reported cases of sexual assaults of girls up to 14 years, especially in Langaville.

“We provide the victims with PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment which reduces the chances of HIV infection, because we don’t know the status of the perpetrator.”

She says the centre has trained counsellors who provide emotional support to the victims.

In some cases, the centre refers patients to psychologists and social workers.

They also handle the legal documents and collect physical evidence from the patient.

“We also treat ‘condom burst’ cases, where someone realises that the condom broke during intercourse.

“People do not have to lie or say they were raped just to get PEP.”

Skosana encourages people who were sexually assaulted long ago to come forward and seek help.

“Even if it happened years ago, we help the client to open a case with the police.

Then we support them and offer counselling for as long as necessary.”

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Xoliswa Kali

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