The focus of this policy paper is on the role of the state in addressing sexual violence in public and private spaces. Specifically, the focus is on the policy provisions in terms of service delivery to sexual offences victims in terms of policing and health services and how these services are currently being provided. The paper begins by discussing the prevalence of violence against women globally and in South Africa. It then examines the South African state’s response to gender-based violence and the gendered nature of the state’s response to addressing violence against women. The paper further examines the response of the criminal justice system, and assesses the service delivery challenges faced by victims of sexual offences at the hands of the police and broader criminal justice system, and the intersection of this with healthcare provision. The paper concludes by making recommendations on how to address these challenges.