Domestic violence and restraining orders

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The Domestic violence and restraining orders process

  • Protection from abuser's violence
  • Legal action against abuser
  • Peace of mind for victim
  • Restriction on abuser's contact
  • Custody and visitation rights addressed
  • Support from legal system

What is Domestic violence and restraining orders?

Domestic violence and restraining orders under South African law involve addressing incidents of domestic violence and obtaining protective orders. Services provide support and legal assistance to victims.

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FAQ for Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any form of physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse that occurs within a domestic or intimate relationship. This can include violence between spouses or partners, parents and children, siblings, or any other individuals living in the same household.

What are restraining orders?

Restraining orders are court orders that prohibit one person from contacting or being in close proximity to another person. They are typically used in cases of domestic violence to protect victims from further abuse.

How do I get a restraining order?

To obtain a restraining order, you must first file a petition with the court that outlines the specific incidents of abuse or violence that have occurred. The court will then review your petition and decide whether to grant the restraining order.

What types of restraining orders are available?

In South Africa, there are two types of restraining orders available: a protection order and a restraining order. A protection order is a court order that prohibits an abuser from committing any further acts of violence or abuse against the victim. A restraining order is similar, but it only prohibits the abuser from contacting the victim.

What happens if the abuser violates the restraining order?

If the abuser violates the restraining order, they can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. The victim can also file a complaint with the court, which may result in additional penalties for the abuser.

Can I still get a restraining order if I am not married to my abuser?

Yes, you can still get a restraining order even if you are not married to your abuser. South African law recognizes that domestic violence can occur in any type of intimate or family relationship, regardless of marital status.

How long does a restraining order last?

The length of a restraining order can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In some cases, a restraining order may be temporary and only last for a few weeks or months. In other cases, a permanent restraining order may be issued that lasts for several years.

Do I need a lawyer to get a restraining order?

You do not necessarily need a lawyer to obtain a restraining order, but it can be helpful to have legal representation. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Family Lawyers in South Africa specialize in laws relating to family matters and domestic relations. They handle a broad range of cases, including marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and other family-related issues. Their practice is guided by legislation such as the Divorce Act 70 of 19791, the Children's Act 38 of 20052, and the Maintenance Act 99 of 19983. These lawyers provide legal advice, negotiate on behalf of clients, and represent them in court proceedings. They are regulated by the Legal Practice Council4.

  1. Divorce Act 70 of 1979 ↩
  2. Children's Act 38 of 2005 ↩
  3. Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 ↩
  4. Legal Practice Council ↩

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