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The Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003 © Based on a template produced by the Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "The Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003 © Based on a template produced by the Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003 © Based on a template produced by the Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre The Legal Assistance Centre takes no responsibility for any changes made to the template.

2 What is domestic violence? Domestic violence is violence towards a family member or someone who is in a domestic relationship with the abuser When children are the victims, the violence is often referred to as “child abuse”

3 Types of domestic violence 1.Physical abuse 2.Sexual abuse 3.Economic abuse 4.Intimidation 5.Harassment 6.Trespass 7.Emotional, verbal or psychological abuse 8.Threats

4 Physical abuse includes Pushing or kicking Hitting, slapping or punching Defecating or urinating on applicant Choking, suffocating Hurting children or other family members Threatening with a knife, gun or other weapon Forced sexual intercourse

5 Emotional abuse includes Threats to harm or kill applicant or members of the applicant’s family Controlling of movement of applicant False accusations (e.g. of prostitution or extramarital affairs) Humiliation Verbal insults

6 Economic abuse includes Money taken from applicant without consent or the applicant being forced to hand over money Exclusive control over family finances Abuse over expenditure

7 It is a form of domestic violence to allow a child to see physical, sexual or psychological abuse against a family member or to place the child at risk of seeing or hearing such abuse

8 Types of domestic relationships People who are married (civil or customary) People who are living together Girlfriend and boyfriend (or engaged) Parents of a child (regardless of whether they are in a relationship) Parents and their children Other family members related by blood, marriage or adoption (if they live in the same house or have some other connection, ie aunt paying her niece’s school fees)

9 Duration of a domestic relationship Continues for at least one year after separation Parents of a child have a domestic relationship for the entire life of the child –If the child dies the relationship continues for 1 year if there is no other connection

10 Myths and facts MYTHS “Women ask for it” “If it is so bad, why doesn’t she leave?” “What happens inside the family is private” “Alcohol causes battering” “Violence happens more often in poor families, or to less educated women” FACTS Domestic violence is widespread Domestic violence is against the law It is harmful to the victim, children, perpetrator and the community Domestic violence is a gender-based problem

11 Quiz: Is this domestic violence 1.A teenage girl finishes a relationship with a boy. The ex-boyfriend follows her around, watching who she talks to and where she goes. 2.A woman is living with a man. She says she doesn’t want to have sex with him because he has other girlfriends. He says unless she has sex with him he will have sex with her daughter. 3.A child has been naughty and his mother refuses to give him pocket money to buy sweets that week..

12 Answers 1.Yes. This is harassment because a domestic relationship continues for one year after separation. 2.Yes. This is sexual abuse and intimidation. 3.No. This is not economic abuse – domestic violence is not about small things or about parents reasonably punishing children.

13 What can you do if you are experiencing domestic violence? 1.You can make an application for a protection order at the Magistrate’s Court 2.You can lay a charge with the police 3.You can ask the police to give the abuser a formal warning You can go to the police and apply for a protection order at the same time.

14 How to apply for a protection order 2. You should take any witnesses who have seen the violence and any evidence you may have, such as medical records 1.Go to the Magistrate’s Court. You do not need a lawyer and the clerk of the court will help you to fill in the forms

15 3.The Magistrate will look at your application. If there is enough evidence, a temporary protection order will be made. The Magistrate may want more information before making a decision 4.The temporary protection order must be served on the abuser before it becomes active 5.When the abuser is given the protection order, he/she must decide to accept it or to disagree with it

16 6. If the abuser disagrees, an informal hearing will be held with the Magistrate. This hearing is private. At the hearing both people can tell their side of the story. The Magistrate will then decide whether or not to make a final protection order 7. If the abuser accepts the protection order, the protection order becomes final without a hearing 8. The court will send a copy of the protection order to the local police station

17 When can you make an application for a protection order? At any time –The magistrate can make decisions on applications for protection orders after ordinary court hours or on weekends –But a protection order is only active once it has been given to the abuser –There is no fee for a protection order But the court has the right to order the complainant or respondent to pay for some or all of the costs of an enquiry. This might happen if someone wasted the court’s time

18 Who can apply for a protection order? Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence If you are under 21, someone can apply on your behalf If you are over 21, but are afraid to apply, someone else can apply on your behalf if they have your written consent

19 What does a protection order say? All protection orders will order the abuser to stop the violence It may also include some of the following provisions: The abuser must hand in all weapons to the police The abuser may not contact or come near the abused person The abuser has to move out of the joint household (only applied if there is physical abuse) The abuser must pay rent for the abused person to live elsewhere The abuser may not destroy any joint property The abuser must pay child maintenance for up to 6 months

20 How long does a protection order last? Each protection order is different A no-contact order can last for 3 years If the abuser owns the house, he/she can be asked to move out for 6 months If the applicant owns the house, the abuser can be asked to move out for any time period the court decides

21 Changes to a protection order The complainant can ask for the protection order to be cancelled. There will not be an enquiry The applicant or the complainant* can apply for the protection order to be changed. The magistrate will proceed in the same way as the original application The respondent can apply for a change or cancellation – the magistrate must hold an enquiry It is possible to change or cancel some parts of a protection order but leave other parts in force *See the next slide for a definition of terms, if needed

22 ComplainantThe person experiencing domestic violence ApplicantThe person who applies for a protection order – this could be someone acting on behalf of the complainant RespondentThe person against whom the protection order is requested

23 What happens if the abuser ignores the protection order? It is a crime to ignore a protection order and the abuser could be given a fine of up to N$8000 or go to prison for up to 2 years, or both It is also a crime if the victim lies to the police. The victim could be given a fine of up to N$4000 or go to prison for up to one year, or both

24 Privacy No-one may publish information about protection orders that may reveal the identity of the applicant, the complainant or any children involved unless the court gives permission –The punishment could be a fine of up to N$10 000 or imprisonment for up to 1 year

25 I am afraid to apply for a protection order because my partner will beat me If you can find a safe place to stay, you could leave your house and then apply You can go to the police at the same time as applying for a protection order You could lay a charge with the police and ask them to arrest the abuser straight away

26 I am afraid that my partner will beat me if he/she is given bail You should tell the police that you are afraid – as in rape cases, the complainant has the right t to give relevant information to the court The abuser will usually be given bail on condition that he/she does not make contact with you If he/she does make contact with you, you can tell the police – the prosecutor can then apply for the bail to be cancelled

27 Conclusion The Combating of Domestic Violence Act: –Classifies existing crimes between persons in a domestic relationship as “domestic violence offences” –Provides a procedure for getting a protection order from a magistrate’s court –Provides other protections for a victim of domestic violence, such as the privacy of the proceedings, the right to give information at a bail hearing and the role of the police to assist the victim

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