PROTECTION ORDERS AND THE FIGHT AGAISNT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Family Law constitutes a large part of our practice at Schwenn Incorporated. Many cases dealing with divorce and the maintenance of children unfortunately include or coincide with protection orders.
Unfortunately Domestic Violence incidences have not decreased but we have seen a substantial increase.
What is the definition of domestic violence?
This is any violence by one person onto another in a domestic setting such as a marriage or cohabitation. The list includes but is in no way limited to: physical, sexual, psychological, financial and verbal abuse.
What are the statistics?
One in five South African women over the age of 18 years have experienced some type of physical violence. Those odds increase in the poorer communities where one in every three women has been a victim at one time or another in their lives.
A survey shows that 17% of women between the ages of 18-24 years have experienced violence just in the 12 months before the survey was taken. Women between the ages 65 years and older report in at 16.7%.The worst percentage rate however has to be that of separated and divorced women which comes in at 40%.
The SAPS report that 73.54% of crimes are against women, whether that be murder, rape or assault. The province with the highest percentage of domestic violence is Eastern Cape leading at 32%.
In any case involving Domestic Violence, the victim (complainant) must apply for a protection order to ensure that they are safe during the divorce or maintenance process.
How does one take out or apply for a protection order?
- The complainant must depose to an affidavit and complete an application at the relevant court;
- Supporting Affidavits by those who may have been witness to the abuse must also be made;
- These documents and any other supporting documents must be handed to the clerk of the nearest court;
- The application for a protection order is not only linked to the complainant but can be used for anyone who has an interest such as a mother and a child;
- Once the court has granted the application for a protection order, this is served by the SAPS on the perpetrator;
- In urgent situations, the court may issue a warrant of arrest simultaneously, to ensure the protection of the complainant and my affected persons.
The Domestic Violence Act puts pressure on government officials such as the police and the courts to follow through with domestic violence cases which makes them less likely to be withdrawn or ignored as an effort to make sure that no one falls through the proverbial cracks.
How we can help you:
Domestic violence is a criminal offence. As attorneys we can assist you with claims for damages, whether that be for medical expenses, damage to property or to a third party.
We at Schwenn Incorporated can help you claim your dignity back and help you stand up against abuse. Remember that all information is confidential and privileged. Call us today on 0315631874/0837897638 or email us at Charmaine@schwenninc.co.za for more information.