Challenges in Helping a Client Take Steps to Access Justice

At the beginning of the year the WCCC worked closely with a young married mother, who came to the Centre seeking help after being raped by a Police Officer. She is married with 2 children and her much older husband is a drug-user who physically, sexually and emotionally abused her. When she first came to WCCC she felt helpless and found it difficult to place her trust in anyone. She felt she couldn’t talk to anybody and knew that her own family were working closely with her husband to victimise her. She was in a state of shock, extremely nervous and afraid and found it extremely challenging to describe what had happen to her.

Over several counselling sessions, the Counsellor helped her to consider her options. The main challenge with this case was that she refused to speak with any police because she had lost trust in them following the rape and ongoing harassment. After some time, she agreed for WCCC to arrange a meeting with the Police Commissioner, who encouraged her to write a police statement so that the appropriate steps and procedures could be taken. She decided to do so, but refused to speak to any other police, and was assisted with preparing an affidavit by WCCC and had it sworn in at the court registry. The Police have not accepted the affidavit as sufficient and have asked WCCC to work with the client to get her to take a statement with the assigned police officer. She has refused to do so but is still receiving follow up communications from her case counsellor to ensure that if and when she is ready, WCCC will be ready to continue supporting her.