Don’t suffer in silence

By admin
13 September 2013

If you have been a victim of domestic abuse and are suffering in silence it is important to remember that the law is on your side. Women's month each year reminds us of the work that we as a nation have done to eradicate oppression of women.   With the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, government created obligations on police and courts to protect women and children as far as is possible from abuse. With this Act in place, you should look to the law for help if your partner is a danger to your health and safety. Open a criminal case: One of the first steps you can take is to open a criminal case against an abuser if you have suffered abuse such as assault or rape. The police should arrest the abuser and he should be put on trial to answer for his crimes. Apply for protection: Another step you can take is to apply for a protection order from the court. This process will see the abuser summoned to the court, where a magistrate will interview him and explain why you need to be protected. Report the abuse: If the abuse continues, you should report it to your nearest police station, where the officers on duty will open a case of contempt of court. Seek advice:Domestic violence is a complex issue, and it is not just a matter for the courts. You can talk to organisations such as Legal & Tax for legal advice, but also seek the help of an organisation such as Lifeline or People Opposing Women Abuse for dealing with the psychological and emotional implications of abuse.

Before you take action, speak to lawyers, counsellors, and sympathetic family members to ensure that you take action in a way that does not leave you open to more abuse from an angered partner or husband.