Hope, Help & Healing Project

Our organisation, PATCH has been in operation since June 1992 and specializes in the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse in the Helderberg area of Cape Town. After almost 27 years of operation, we are still the only organisation in the entire Helderberg area that provides free therapeutic, medical & court support to child victims of rape and sexual abuse. Majority of the cases reported to PATCH are young girls with the youngest client being only 3 months old. We are constantly reminded by the media of the horrors taking place in our community each day, particularly against the young and innocent. We are however proud of the fact that we have the ability, through the professionals employed by PATCH and with the faithful financial contributions made to PATCH over the years, we are able to provide each child referred to our organisation with the skills needed to go back into the Helderberg Community and to not only cope in the event that they come face to face with their perpetrator, but more importantly, learn how not to fall victim to this type of abuse again. To combat the crime of sexual abuse, PATCH provides many free and professional services to the members of the Helderberg community who have come to trust and rely on the support received by PATCH during the past 26 years, these services are:
  1. Prevention Programs to children in surrounding schools within the Helderberg, educating children from as young as 3 years of age on the dangers of sexual abuse, the difference between a “good” touch and a “bad” touch and most importantly, who to tell should a child wish to report a case of sexual abuse. We reach up to 7000 children annually.
  1. Prevention Programs to Parents within the Helderberg area on how to prevent their child/children from falling victim to sexual abuse as well as the coping mechanisms needed to deal with the many challenges associated with the behaviour of a child should they have been raped or sexually abused. This is a new service that was implemented in early 2017 and has brought with it excellent community support and a demand for ongoing prevention programs amongst adults within the various communities in the Helderberg.
  1. Medical examinations for children who report their case of rape after hours and within the 72-hour window period to prevent the transmission of HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and/or pregnancy as well as to obtain possible DNA evidence in the hope of achieving a conviction. We receive more than 100 after-hours referrals annually with February 2018 reaching a record high of 18 new cases of rape reported with the 72-hour window period in just one month. Medical examinations are also scheduled for children who report their case of rape or sexual abuse after the 72-hour window period. These examinations are done to confirm sign that sexual abuse did occur as well as to determine the severity of the abuse. These medical examinations include HIV Blood testing to confirm the HIV status of the child.
  1. Forensic Interviews of which the purpose in a suspected sexual abuse case is to elicit as much reliable information as possible from the child to determine whether abused took place.
  1. Professional Therapy will be provided to a child on a weekly basis at a PATCH facility closest to the child victims home and in the child’s home language. Therapy will provide the child with the skills needed to deal with the trauma of having been raped or sexually abused.
  1. Court preparation is provided to a child should the case become a criminal one. Depending on the age of the child, the PATCH Therapist and Social Worker will write a court report motivating that the child testify through the aid of an intermediary so as not to have to face their perpetrator in court. For the older children, they will be taken to court and familiarised on the court proceedings so that they are prepared and able to provide a confident testimony in the hope that their perpetrator is convicted.
The holistic techniques used by the professional staff at PATCH have proved time and again to be a successful form of intervention and are paramount to the healing process of each child. The sad fact is that although our professional services clearly prove that each child benefits greatly from the support received, they are however an intangible service. This combined with the fact that we do not allow any interaction between volunteers/donors and our child clients often sees our organisation being overlooked when a funding opportunity arises. Breaking the Silence is one of the most important components in the healing process for every child referred to our organisation. Achievement reflects when each child through the therapy process, no longer shows signs of trauma and no longer feels powerless with regards to the abuse, instead they will realize that they have control over their body and a voice to say NO! One can assist PATCH by contributing towards the variety of professional services carried out by the organisation. Any donation amount is welcome, your support will allow each child to be who they were before the abuse took place and empower them to be the adult they were meant to be.
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PATCH - Helderberg

Created 03 Sep, 2019 Helderberg area of Cape Town

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