Bregmans has handled family law matters since 1974. Family Law is the practice of law dealing with all aspects of family matters including the following:
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Source: A simple guide to South African Family Law by Nthabiseng Monareng
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the term used when a person in a household abuses another person with whom he or she is living. It occurs between people who are in a relationship with each other. These relationships include married couples, dating couples, ex-partners, children, and members of the same household.
Domestic violence occurs on a daily basis but people are still afraid to talk about it. There are also many wrong perceptions regarding domestic violence. These include the perception that domestic violence is a family problem and should be treated as a private matter.
There is also a perception that domestic violence happens only to certain kinds of people. The truth is that domestic violence can happen to anyone.
Forms of domestic violence
This is when physical harm is inflicted on a person’s body. It includes:
This is any conduct that abuses, humiliates, degrades or violates a person’s sexual integrity. This may include:
Emotional and psychological abuse
This is any emotional, verbal and psychological behavior that includes:
This occurs when your partner does not support you financially and/or denies you the opportunity to earn money. It includes:
Other forms of abusive conduct
Stages of domestic violence in a relationship
Stage 1: Honeymoon stage
This is the period in the relationship where everything is good. The couple is in love and everything is going well.
Stage 2: Tension stage
This is when one partner starts to complain and accuses the other about things they did not do. The relationship starts to be tense.
Stage 3: Abuse stage
This is when one partner abuses the other, in most cases by being physically abusive.
The abuse cycle
After the incident, in most cases, the abuser becomes sorry. He or she will beg for forgiveness and promise not to do it again. The abuser will also start to buy gifts and give the other partner attention. Sometimes abusers are really sorry and sometimes they are just pretending.
The abused person will forgive the abuser and the relationship will go back to the honeymoon stage. After a while, sometimes within a short period of time, the abuser will start with his or her abusive ways again and the parties will be back at stage two and then three. This cycle will occur until the abused person puts a stop to it.
Why do abused people find it difficult to leave an abusive partner?
Others are isolated from friends and family. They often find themselves not having anyone to turn to or lack knowledge of where to seek help.
Getting a protection order
To get a protection order, an abused person must apply at the magistrate’s court nearest where he or she lives or works or where the abuser lives or works.
Procedure to follow
You go to court on two separate days. The first time is when you make an application for a protection order. The magistrate will give you a temporary order. A return date will be set and you have to go back to the court for the second time. The abuser is also called to appear in court on this day.
The process is as follows:
Who can apply for a protection order?
Violation of the protection order
If the abuser violates the protection order
What happens to the abuser?
If the abuser is arrested, he or she can be sent to jail until a court appearance or warned and told to appear in court on a certain date.
Cancelling the protection order
If you want to cancel the protection order, you must give written notice to the abuser and apply to the court to withdraw the order.
Abusers have a tendency of being apologetic and promising to change. They do this in order to make you cancel the protection order or any other legal action. After you have cancelled it, they start again with their abusive ways.
How to get out of an abusive relationship
What is a shelter?
A shelter is a safe house where victims of abuse who do not have anywhere else to go or who fear for their lives are temporarily placed.
Advantages of a shelter
General notes about domestic violence
Bregman Moodley Attorneys Inc. 2015/089214/21
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