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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

By

DR SAGIE NAIDOO
WHY THE DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE ACT
Domestic violence (DV) is a serious social evil
High incidence of domestic violence in SA
society
Victims of DV are most vulnerable members
of society
DV takes on many forms
Acts of DV may be committed in a wide range
of domestic relationships
Current remedies available to victims of DV
are ineffective
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT
1998
WHOM DOES IT PROTECT:
Married people (civil, customary and
religious).
People living together (also same sex)
All family members (parents, children,
siblings and grandparents)
Engaged, dating or people in customary
relationships
WHAT IS DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE?
Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse,
Verbal Abuse, Psychological Abuse
Economic Abuse
Intimidation
Harassment
Stalking
Damage to property
Entry without consent
Any controlling behaviour
PROTECTION ORDER MAY
BE ISSUED TO PROHIBIT
ABUSER FROM:
Committing any act of domestic violence
Asking others to commit such acts
Entering shared or part of residence
Entering complainant’s home/workplace
Committing any other specified act
PROTECTION ORDER MAY
ORDER:
Police to seize any dangerous weapons
Police to accompany complainant to fetch
property
Abuser to pay rent, maintenance or other
money
Conditions for access and maintenance
IF THE ABUSER BREAKS
THE ORDER:

Complainant must call police


Police must arrest abuser or give him notice
to appear in court
Magistrate may decide on fine or
imprisonment for up to five years for the
abuser
WHEN CAN AN
APPLICATION BE MADE?

During ordinary court hours


Outside court hours if the the court is
satisfied that the woman will suffer undue
hardship if the application is not dealt with
immediately
WHERE CAN AN
APPLICATION FOR A P.O. BE
MADE
Any Magistrates Court or Any High Court
Nearest to where the complainant lives OR
Where the abuser lives or works OR
Where the abuse took place
TO WHOM SHOULD THE
APPLICATION FOR P.O. BE
MADE?
To the Clerk of the Magistrates Court
To the Registrar of the High Court
DUTIES OF THE POLICE
At the scene of domestic violence/when abuse is
reported to him:
Inform the woman of her rights in terms of the Act
Hand her a copy containing information about her
rights and remedies available to her in terms of the
Act
Explain the content of the notice to the woman
WHAT POWERS DO THE
POLICE HAVE IN D.V. CASES
To arrest an abuser at the scene of abuse if
he has committed an act of violence
To arrest an abuser on presentation by a
woman of a warrant of arrest and an
affidavit containing an allegation that the
abuser violated the protection order
HOW TO OBTAIN A P.O. (1)
1. Complainant goes to Magistrates court to apply
2. Complainant must make an affidavit stating
grounds for application
3. Application will be strengthened if
accompanied by:
Supporting affidavit by doctor re: injuries
Supporting affidavit from witness/es
Report from social worker
Proof of previous cases against abuser
Photographs of the injuries
HOW TO OBTAIN A P.O.(2)
4. Clerk of court takes application to
magistrate who:
May refuse the application-insufficient
evidence
Grants a temporary order& set a date for
2nd hearing so complainant can answer
Refuses to grant an order but sets a date
for both parties to appear to argue the case
HOW TO OBTAIN A P.O. (3)
5. If the magistrate grants the application:
the PROTECTION ORDER and
‘SUSPENDED’ warrant of arrest must be
served on the abuser by the clerk of the
court, sheriff or the police – only binding
after the service.
HOW TO OBTAIN A P.O. (4)
6. The P.O. also informs the abuser when to attend
court for the second hearing.
7. At the 2nd hearing the magistrate decides
whether to make the temporary order a ‘FINAL
PROTECTION ORDER’
8. The final order is served on the abuser and a
copy sent to the relevant police station.
9. The complainant receives a copy of the final
order and the suspended warrant of arrest
CASE SCENARIO: 1
A 12 year old girl presents to you with bruise
marks around her throat and on her thighs and
suffering from a vaginal discharge. She tells you
that her father has raped her. She does not wish
her mother to know nor does she want to lay a
charge with the police. She loves both her parents
and does not wish to break up the family.
What are your ethical obligations?
What are your legal obligations?
What would you do?
CASE SCENARIO:2
A 79 year old lady lives with her son and
daughter-in-law. She is forgetful and incontinent.
Her daughter-in-law often loses patience with her
and assaults her. She presents with black eyes and
a broken hip after being assaulted by the daughter-
in-law in a fit of anger. The elderly woman is
afraid that she be asked to leave the house if she
complains and tells you that she does not wish to
‘create a fuss’.
1.What are your ethical obligations?
2.What are your legal obligations?
3.What would you do?
CASE SCENARIO 3:
A 28 year old lady who has 8 weeks
amennorhoea, consults you as the family
physician. She is accompanied by her husband
from whom you know she has been separated
from for 6 months. She is very agitated during
the history-taking and when you ask her to step
in the examination room her husband insists that
he needs to be present during the examination.
1. What are your ethical obligations?
2. What are your legal obligations?
3. What would you do?