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All You Need To Know About Protection Orders In South Africa

Oftentimes, people find themselves in extremely difficult situations that force them to make difficult decisions to ensure their and their loved one’s safety. These decisions may consist of the person picking up and moving to a different place or getting a restraining order against someone they feel threatened by. Unfortunately, many family lawyers are approached by clients to get restraining orders against their spouse, parent, family member, or partner.

Family lawyers practicing in South Africa cannot provide their clients with a restraining order but they can help with helping them obtain protection orders. So, if you are interested in learning more, keep on reading. This article will give you a quick rundown on how things work in South Africa when it comes to ensuring your safety.

Magda Ehlers/Pexels | South African laws for citizen protection are some of the best in the world

The Domestic Violence Act

In South Africa, the legal system has exceptional rules and laws that work to protect people in abusive relationships. The country’s law allows citizens to apply for a protection order under the light of the Domestic Violence Act or the Protection Against Harassment Act. There are certain criteria or benchmarks that you have to meet to receive a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act, mainly that you have to be in a domestic relationship.

Following are the ways your relationship can fall under the criteria of the domestic relationship:

  1.       You live/have lived with them
  2.       You are related to them
  3.       You were previously in a relationship with them
  4.       You have a child together
  5.       You are in the middle of a divorce process
  6.       You are currently married to them

Domestic Violence can take different forms and is not always physical abuse. According to South African Laws, domestic violence can include sexual abuse, harassment, emotional abuse, stalking, intimidation, or abusive behavior towards the complainant.

Karolina/Pexels | Physical abuse is not the only form of domestic violence

No Signs Of Physical Harm?

In most places, physical harm is considered the most important evidence against an abuser to provide the victim with protection or a restraining order. In South Africa, however, signs of physical harm are not necessary. Nonetheless, there should be solid evidence against the abuser for the court proceedings to move forward. This evidence can include photos, documentation, messages, WhatsApp messages, emails, and communication through social media platforms that shows evidence that proves the alleged abuse.

Karolina/Pexels | Any evidence, that might suggest that you are being threatened or abused, can help you in court

Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out For Help

If you are someone who might be dealing with a tough situation, then your best bet would be to document as much as you can and apply for a protection order. No one deserves to be abused or harassed to the point that they must seek legal action, but this is the best option in certain situations. You should be mindful of the abuser’s tactics and behavioral issues, which can be a sign for you to distance yourself from the said person.

Share this piece of information with your social circle, it might help those who need it.

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