What is Domestic Violence?
According to the Domestic Violence Act No. 116 of 1998 it is:
any form of abuse which includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic harassment
damage to property
entry into a person’s property without their consent
any other abusive or controlling behaviour where such a conduct causes harm or may cause harm to your health, safety, or well being
If these forms of abuse are happening to you or to anyone you know, you can apply for a protection order. A domestic violence protection order is a document issued by the court which prevents the abuser from:
- committing an act of domestic violence
- enlisting the help of another person to commit any such act
- entering a residence shared by the complainant and the respondent
- entering a specified part of such a shared residence
- entering the complainant’s residence
- entering the complainant’s place of employment
- preventing the complainant who ordinarily lives or lived in a shared residence from entering or remaining in the shared residence or a specified part of the shared residence or
committing any other act as specified in the protection order.
RECOGNISING that domestic violence is a serious social evil; that there is a high incidence of domestic violence within South African society; that victims of domestic violence are among the most vulnerable members of society; that domestic violence takes on many forms; that acts of domestic violence may be committed in a wide range of domestic relationships: and that the remedies currently available to the victims of domestic violence have proved to be ineffective:
AND HAVING REGARD to the Constitution of South Africa, and in particular, the right to equality and to freedom and security of the person: and the international commitments and obligations of the State towards ending violence against women and children, including obligations under the United Nations Conventions on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Agiainst Women and the Rights of the Child;
IT IS THE PURPOSE of this Act to afford the victims of domestic violence the maximum protection from domestic abuse that the law can provide; and to introduce measures which seek to ensure that the relevant organs of state give full effect to the provisions of this Act, and thereby convey that the State is committed to the elimination of domestic violence.