COVID-19: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
We are here to assist you
Unfortunately for some, “self-isolation” and “social distancing” is not 21 days spent in a happy environment with their families and loved ones.
It may leave some with no other choice but to be behind closed doors in a space where they are being abused, in whatever form, left feeling vulnerable and unsafe, over and above the concerns faced surrounding the current world-wide pandemic.
According to section 8, subsection 1(c) of the directives which were released in terms of Regulation 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 and published in the Government Gazette on the 31st of March 2020 (“the directive“), it was stated that Protection Orders will be dealt with by the courts during the period of the lockdown.
- Applications for interim domestic violence protection orders; and
- Applications for interim protection against harassment.
As stipulated in the directive.
According to the Domestic Violence Act, 16 of 1998 (“the Act“) a person is classified to be in a situation of domestic violence, and qualifies to obtain a Protection Order, in the following instances:
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse;
- Economic abuse;
- Damage to property;
- Entry into the complainant’s residence without consent, where the parties do not share the same residence; or
- Any other controlling abuse behaviour towards a complainant,
where such conduct harms, or may cause imminent harm to, the safety, health or wellbeing of the complainant.
Furthermore, in accordance with the Act, a person qualifies to obtain a protection order for harassment in a situation where another person is “engaging in a pattern of conduct that induces the fear of harm to a complainant, including:
- Repeatedly watching, or loitering outside of or near the building or place where the complainant resides, works, carries on business, studies or happens to be;
- Repeatedly making telephone calls or inducing another person to make telephone calls to the complainant, whether or not conversation ensues;
- Repeatedly sending, delivering, or causing the delivery of letters, telegrams, packages, facsimiles, electronic mail or other objects to the complainant.”
We at MRR are available to assist those who may be in need of protection during this time, by dealing with, preparing and attending court for all Applications relating to Protection Orders.
For emergency situations, here are some Hotlines you may contact for immediate help
- The South African Police Services and general emergencies – 10111;
- Gender based violence – 0800 428 428;
- Woman abuse helpline – 0800 150 150;
- Childline – 0800 055 555
Please feel free to contact Aimee Foce (Head of the Family Law Department) on 011 918 4116 for legal advice on Protection Orders.
We are also able to help you should you require assistance in seeking any form of counselling or have any further queries in this regard.