Youth from different communities in Mangaung Metro gathered at Bobbiespark in Bloemfontein for the empowerment event. The South African Police Service and Soul City Institute organised a fun filled event with sister departments and non-governmental and non-profit organizations with the aim to empower young people in the area. The theme of the event was: “Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Policing of Sexual Offences”. Department of Health offered services from a mobile clinic at the venue.

The objective of the event was to engage in discussions between the youth and experts in different departments or organisations dealing with sexual activities and victims of offences and perpetrators on a daily basis. Fact is: Youth engage in sexual activities voluntarily or against their will; thus affecting their health and rights. Those who get involved without their consent require policing related to sexual offences.

The first presentation was about PEP [Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis] which was directed at those who engage in sexual activities voluntarily and do not use protection (condoms) for their reproductive health. Rape victims (Policing of Sexual Offences part) are entitled to have PEP [Post Exposure Prophylaxis]… the treatment must be administered within the three days of exposure which makes it very important to report rape as soon as possible.

Motheo FM offered the live broadcast of the dialogue between 13:00 and 14:00. Johannes Coetzee from Soul City Institute created awareness on the trauma caused by sexual offences to victims. Sergeant Tshitso Mofokeng (Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences discussed the significance of reporting sexual offences; services at the police stations (Victim Empowerment Program) and collecting of evidence both from the body and clothing. The Visible Policing Commander at Parkweg police station, Colonel Andiswa Myeki adressed the “consent” topic pertaining to sexual engagement. Sergeant Machuisa (DPCI) created awareness around human trafficking and policing thereof.

The day that started with physical exercises, games, drama and performances came to conclusion as a resounding success.

Source: South African Police Service