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III. Methods

This report is based on a field visit to South Africa in May and June 2003. Human Rights Watch made additional contacts with key informants both before and after this period by telephone or electronic mail from New York. In South Africa, Human Rights Watch visited KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape provinces and also met with representatives from Limpopo province. These provinces illustrated a range of policy and program responses to sexual violence. Gauteng was important as a policy benchmark, as government provision of PEP and related services for rape survivors was relatively advanced there. KwaZulu-Natal was important because it had the country’s most serious HIV/AIDS epidemic, and Eastern Cape and Limpopo because of their relative lack of resources.

During the course of Human Rights Watch’s research, researchers conducted face-to-face and/or telephone interviews with over 100 people, including health care and social service workers who work with sexual violence survivors; police; prosecutors specializing in the prosecution of sexual violence cases; representatives of domestic and international NGOs and grassroots organizations working on sexual violence and on HIV/AIDS; academics; lawyers; journalists; members of South African Law Review Commission project committees; and provincial and national government officials. It was possible to get detailed information on the implementation of PEP by speaking with experienced frontline service providers working directly with rape survivors. Because of this and at the recommendation of most service providers, we chose not to extend our interviews to rape survivors. Some government employees requested that their names not be used in this report. Their reluctance to be named may reflect the sensitive nature of any discussion in South Africa regarding sexual violence, HIV/AIDS, and antiretroviral drugs.

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March 2004