Rape victims urged to preserve DNA evidence for successful conviction

File image: iStock

File image: iStock

Police have said that rape victims should not wash themselves or their clothes until they have reported their attack and been examined.

A man from Evander was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for attempting to rape his six-year-old niece in 2015, reports Ridge Times.

The 32-year-old man claimed he was drunk when he crawled into the little girl’s bed that was on the floor in her parents’ bedroom.

The child’s back was towards her uncle.

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According to the testimony in court, the man tried to pull down the girl’s underwear, but eventually ejaculated into her panties.

The uncle pleaded guilty to the charges in 2016 and was kept in police custody since his arrest.

The six years he was slapped with will follow on the time he had already spent in prison.

Warrant Officer Gloudie Sachse from the family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) unit, said the conviction was possible because of the DNA found on the girl’s underwear.

She urged rape victims to immediately seek help from people such as the police’s Curamus Victim Support group.

“As horrible as it may sound, a rape victim should not wash herself or her clothes before she has reported the attack to the police and is examined. If you wash, you destroy any DNA evidence that can secure a conviction of the perpetrator,” explained Capt Liz Koekemoer from FCS.

Any item with DNA on it, such as underwear, tissues and clothes, can be wrapped in newspaper and handed to the police.

Volunteers from Curamus can accompany a victim to the police station and the rape crisis centre (Thuthuzela) at Evander Hospital.

Rape kits are at the state hospital.

Contact Curamus Victim Support at 079 114 9592.

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