EXCLUSIVE: New centres to help rape victims

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says the centres will place emphasis on the victim.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega speaking to the media on 14 June 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

PRETORIA - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Monday said specialised service centres would be introduced to help victims of sexual offences.

Speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News , the top cop said some 160 specialised centres were introduced at police stations throughout the country.

"We give specialised attention, where we use forensic social workers, forensic psychologists and specialised intervention."

Phiyega said trained officers at these centres place emphasis on the the victim, instead of simply focusing on the crime.

"We're not just looking at [the] reporting [of crimes]."

She said that police will offer counselling services at these centres.

Phiyega's comments come after the rape, murder and mutilation of Bredasdorp teen Anene Booysen caused widespread outrage across South Africa.

Meanwhile, government communications officials took to the streets of Pretoria on Monday afternoon to protest against the rapes and murders of several teenage girls over the past few weeks.

Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said public awareness is the first step towards combatting the scourge of sexual violence.

"It is a problem that needs to be tackled by society as a whole. We want to give information to the public on what to do when they are faced with abuse within their families or communities."