Getting a protection order:

A protection order is a written order that is issued by a Magistrate to stop any person from committing any act of domestic violence against another person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship.

The person who seeks the Protection Order is referred to as the complainant while the person who has or allegedly committed an act of domestic violence and against whom the Protection Order is applied for is called the respondent.

The complainant of domestic violence must be or must have been involved in a domestic relationship with the respondent to qualify for a Protection Order.

In terms of the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 (as amended), a domestic relationship means a relationship between a complainant and a respondent if they:

  • are or were married to each other in terms of any law, custom or religion.

  • are of the same or opposite sex, live or have lived together in a marriage or single relationship.

  • are the parents of a child or are persons who have or had parental responsibility for that child.

  • are family members related by blood relation, affinity or adoption.

  • are or were engaged, dating or in a customary relationship.

  • share or recently shared the same residence.

Persons who can apply for a Protection Order:

  • The victim of domestic violence;

  • Any minor without the assistance of a parent, guardian or any other person; Any person on behalf of the minor without the assistance of the minor’s parent, guardian or any other person;

  • Any person on behalf of the complainant who has a material interest in the well-being of the complaint including counsellors, health workers, police officers, social workers or teachers. The written consent of the complainant is required, unless the complainant is a minor, mentally retarded, unconscious or is found by the court to be unable to give such consent.

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