Police give advice to abuse victims

2016-03-22 10:13
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Pietermaritzburg - With domestic violence increasing, according to local police, comprehensive guidelines have been issued on steps an abused victim should take in terms of the law. 

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said should a person be physically or emotionally abused, they have the right to apply for a protection order free of charge at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court or to lay a criminal charge at the nearest police station.

A protection order commands the abuser to stop the assault and may also prevent the person from getting help from any other person to commit such acts.

An interim protection order can also be issued, day or night, to protect a member of the public from danger.

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a protection order and, in cases where a minor is involved, the parent or guardian, as well as any person on behalf of the parent or guardian, with their permission, may apply for the order for the child.

At the scene police will protect the victim and take a statement in privacy and, if the victim is in immediate danger, the offender can be arrested without a warrant. “We will search the premises and seize any firearm found in the possession of a person who has threatened to kill or injure anyone,” Ebrahim said.

If an abuser disobeys the protection order, victims are urged to call the police immediately. On their arrival, a statement will be taken and the victim should have ready the warrant of arrest received with the protection order.

Ebrahim urged that victims should have a “crisis plan” ready if need be.

“Identify places where you can quickly and easily use a phone and always carry a list of emergency numbers. Make sure that people you usually visit are in possession of a copy of the protection order and warrant of arrest,” she said. “Put some money in a safe place so that you can take a taxi or bus in case of an emergency or have an extra set of keys for the house or car. If possible, have a set of clothes for you and your children packed in a bag, and keep it in a safe place.” — WR.

If any person falls victim to abuse, they should contact their nearest police station or the following numbers:

SAPS Crime Stop: 086 001 0111

Women Abuse Helpline: 080 015 0150

Childline: 080 005 5555

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  domestic abuse

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