How to Get Help at School: Report Rape or Bullying. Abuse and sexual harassment can be reported at schools. Let’s take a look at how the reporting process works to protect you. Being protected is your right as a child.
Report Abuse and Harassment: Teachers are Prepared so Get Help at School!
Seeking Support at School: Reporting Incidents of Bullying and Abuse
It’s no joke when school creeps you out. But you can get help as schools have a process to support you. If a teacher, another member of staff or a learner is making your life miserable, it’s time to change it. With suicide rates increasing, everyone, including Keep Climbing, is concerned about your safety and right to happiness.
You Are Not Alone: Get Help at School
- Every learner should have a favourite teacher or two. It’s so good to have an adult you feel you can trust and who will know what to do. They won’t put you at more risk and they also take the responsibility of managing the situation off your shoulders.
- You may feel like there is no one, but that’s because you’re hurting. When people are hurting, it can be a struggle to reach out for help and not feel alone. Reaching out for help is when you start to take control of the situation and turn it around.
Reporting can be so scarey for different reasons: Get Help at School
- Some may see it as fighting back. And that scares them because they don’t want to fight, they just want a normal life.
- Others may want to finally fight back because they want justice.
- Some may decide that reporting is important because they don’t want anyone else to get hurt too.
Not Reporting Robs You: Reporting Brings Protection
- Bullies and abusers count on your silence to protect them. So don’t, they do not deserve your loyal protection.
- If you think you have fears, well bullies and abusers are terrified of being known! But maybe you fear that no one will believe you. That’s why the Department of Education has put a process in place. When a learner reports sexual abuse or harrassment, specific steps will be taken.
- These steps protect you and your voice. In fact, there are steps against anyone who judges and discourages you. Sure, this means sometimes someone lies, but that’s because they want to harm someone innocent. These people will struggle with the process because they don’t really need protection.
- When you are the person harmed, the process protects you as it was written for harmed learners. So you see, the process does not judge you.
Talking About What Happened to a Member of Staff: Get Help at School
- All children are protected by law and anyone harming them is punished. Abusers and bullies depend on you to doubt yourself. They want fear to paralyse you and stop you from reporting them. So it’s very important to approach a member of staff and confide in them as soon as possible. The sooner you do, then the sooner you stop whatever is happening if it’s ongoing.
Reporting Cases of Sexual Harassment or Abuse:
You can also report something that you saw happen. If you see someone being abused or harrassed, help them by reporting it.
Reporting is a Safe Process: Get Help at School
- If you know about a case of sexual abuse or harassment, it’s important to follow these steps. The person you tell (like the Principal, Grade Head, or a school staff member) will use this process.
Step 1: Speak to Someone You Trust: Get Help at School
- If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or harassment, it’s important to tell someone you trust. Please talk to a teacher or a staff member at your school. They can keep your report confidential and protect your identity.
Step 2: How to Report and Get Help at School
- You can share what happened by talking about it or by writing it down.
- Most people who experience abuse receive help to prevent it from happening again.
Step 3: What to Expect When You Get Help at School
- When you share what happened, people should not ask you lots of questions to check if you’re telling the truth. The person you tell will just listen and take down whatever details are necessary. They’ll only ask for specific info needed for the report, like what type of incident it was and the names of those involved.
Step 4: Safe and Private Space
- When you talk about what happened, it should be in a safe place where you feel comfortable. You won’t have to see the person you’re reporting.
Step 5: Taking Care of You
- Sharing what happened is a process so it’s important for schools to handle it with care and protect your right to privacy. If you want to know more about your rights, you can check out the Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa.
Step 6: If It’s Serious
- If what happened is very serious, like rape, the person you tell will suggest not eating, drinking, or doing anything until a doctor checks you out. This is really important, especially when you’ve been through something like that.
- Remember that this part of the process isn’t to judge your story. It’s there to protect your body and record whatever evidence there may be.
Alleged Abuse or Harassment by a Learner
- If you hear about any type of sexual abuse or harassment at school, let the Principal and Grade Head know right away. If the person involved is the Principal or Grade Head, tell a member of the SMT. They will report it to the Circuit Manager within 24 hours.
- School Management Team: SMT means the team managing the school. They are the principal, Deputy Principal and heads of Department who support and assist the Principal in the management of the school.
For Cases Involving a Learner as the Victim:
The Principal will:
- Tell the parents or guardians of the learner who was hurt (unless they are the ones responsible).
- If the person who did it is also a learner, the Grade Head will be informed.
- Report serious cases:
- To the police (SAPS).
- Contact the nearest Thuthuzela Care Centre.
- If a learner under 18 is hurt, a special form (Form 22) will be filled out.
Taking Action After Reporting Sexual Abuse or Harassment
Reporting to the Police (SAPS)
- If you’re under 18 and have experienced sexual abuse, the Principal or a school staff member will report it to the police for you. If you’re over 18, you can report it without needing an adult’s help.
Important Things to Remember:
- If you’re over 18 and not sure about pressing charges, you can still tell the police what happened.
- Write down the name and phone number of the police officer handling your case, and ask for the case number and a brief summary of what you reported.
- If you’re unhappy with how the police treat you, you can talk to the Station Commander. If that doesn’t help, you can report it to the SAPS Cluster Commander.
What Happens After Reporting:
- The Principal will call your parents or guardians and the parents or guardians of the person involved (if they’re a learner). They’ll also send a letter within 24 hours explaining what happened, without revealing any names.
- The Principal will talk to you and your parents or guardians about what comes next. They’ll explain the role of a social worker and what everyone’s responsibilities are.
- If you need someone to talk to, you can contact district Psychosocial Services, Childline at 0800 055 555, or the DSD call center at 0800 42 8428.
In Case of Sexual Assault or Rape:
- The police (SAPS) will arrange for you to get a medical check-up at the nearest clinic or hospital within 24 hours. They’ll collect evidence and make sure you get the care you need.