What is domestic violence or abuse?
It is abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly.
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.