Sexual assault cases go cold as medical reports pile up unread

A tweet by a medical doctor showing a file containing medical reports that were still to be collected by police from a public hospital has sparked outrage on social media.

These medical reports have not been collected by police, meaning that the sexual assault cases they refer to are not progressing through the system.
Image: Twitter/ Sibongile Tito

Sibongile Tito posted a picture of a stack of forms with medical evidence of injuries sustained by patients who had opened cases of sexual and physical assault with the police.

The J88 forms are part of police dockets and are completed by medical doctors, who list injuries sustained by victims of assault.

Tito did not identify which hospital the forms were from, but said some of the forms dated back to 2018. She said this meant those cases wouldn’t have progressed.

One Twitter user said Tito could have simply dropped off the files at the nearest police station for delivery to the correct stations. Another offered to help deliver each file to the relevant police station.

But Tito said this would not work. She said the information contained in the forms was confidential and having third parties deliver it would be a risk.

Tito said this had happened before.

The police seemed not to be aware of the matter and invited Tito to bring the matter to the attention of the SAPS national management intervention unit.

Commenting on her tweet, one person related his struggle to get his investigating officer to collect the form after he had been seriously assaulted.

A number of people expressed outrage over her revelations.

 

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