My self-shot and self-edited documentary focuses on the emotionally demanding, unrecognised work that forensic nurses do in assisting rape victims and helping fight sex crimes.

In South Africa, over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime with only 1 in 4 rapes reported*. 50% of children under the age of 18 are sexually abused* and only 14% of perpetrators are sent to jail*. Partly due to this low conviction rate, a lot of them are reoffend, most of them having committed their first act of a sexual crime before the age of 10*. 

The documentary follows two forensic nurses as they reflect on some of their challenging moments and discuss why so many of them consider leaving the field. We also hear from a 28-year-old survivor of rape and hear of the story of a 3-year-old survivor. 

I was able to make the documentary mainly thanks to a grant and support I received from One World Media, a great organisation supporting upcoming journalists and filmmakers aiming to tell untold stories from developing countries, as they say.

I am happy to share it has screened in both Southampton and London, with new screening dates yet to be announced below!

  • Southampton Film Week - 10 November 2016
  • Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, London - 13 February 2017

I will be writing an article based on the documentary and will share it on my website. 

Please do get in touch if you're interested in finding out more or wish to screen it. 

This is a moving insight into the efforts of South Africa’s forensic nurses to help survivors of rape. It contrasts the nurses’ intense humanity and the plight of their patients, with official indifference and judicial failure. It highlights a threat to the very service that helps bring abusers to justice. This is strong storytelling, letting us connect with the people at its heart.
— Broadcast Journalism Training Council Steve Harris Award Judges
They are powerful stories, awful stuff – and the nurses are great. The access you gained is impressive, the women really opened up to you.
— Liz M., Thomson Reuters Foundation
The young girl made me cry.
— Kiki, London screening
Really enjoyed your piece - very powerful.
— Nicola K., London screening
Amazing.
— Eni A., London screening
Teddy is a fantastic character and the touches of humour between you and her add much needed moments of light in a film covering such harrowing subject matter. I think the text slides work really well.
I thought some of your cutaways were really creative and added texture to what could easily be too many talking heads.

All in all I’m really impressed Simi. You have a strong but sensitive interview technique which will get you a long way if you’re hoping to continue covering these important but difficult subjects. The fact your female victim could laugh in parts of her interview with you is testament to this, and I really liked the fact you didn’t reduce her to simply a victim and you showed her own strength in her comments about having regained confidence etc.
— Clothilde R., One World Media

AWARDS:

Won Student Award at the 2018 Amnesty International Media Awards.

Won Steve Harris Award for Best Original Story at the 2017 Broadcast Journalism Training Council Awards.

Shortlisted for the 2017 One World Media Awards. 

PRESS:

'The nanny realised something was wrong': South Africa’s rape crisis - The Guardian

One World Media presents Fresh Eyes on the World

Feast of Film with Southampton Film Week - Daily Echo

Feast of Film with Southampton Film Week - York Press

Bertha DocHouse Screening: Fresh Eyes on the world

One World Media: Fresh Eyes on the World

Footnotes: 

  1. In South Africa, over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime with only 1 in 4 rapes reported* - South African Institute of Race Relations
  2. 50% of children under the age of 18 are sexually abused* - Medico-Legal Findings, Legal Case Progression, and Outcomes in South African Rape Cases: Retrospective Review, by Rachel Jewkes, Nicola Christofides, Lisa Vetten, Ruxana Jina, Romi Sigsworth, Lizle Loots. Medical Research Council. Published: October 13, 2009
  3. Only 14% of perpetrators are sent to jail* - Rape on trial in South Africa, by Clare Kapp. Published: 04 March 2006
  4. Most of them having committed their first act of a sexual crime before the age of 10* - Understanding men's health and use of violence: interface of rape and HIV in South Africa, by Rachel Jewkes, Yandisa Sikweyiya1, Robert Morrell, Kristin Dunkle. South African Medical Research Council. Published June 2009.

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