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Domestic Violence – How to Get Out and Who to Contact

News
23 August 2020
A number of organisations have stepped up over the years to make immediate help for victims of GBV easily accessible, with many groups offering not only counselling but also legal guidance.
Protection Orders FINAL (17) bw

August is Women’s Month, but it’s also a month where violence against women and children is emphasised even more. With headlines of gender-based violence (GBV) flashed across frontpages and screens almost daily, it’s clear more needs to be done by both government and society as a whole to help curb the tide.

But persons who currently find themselves in an abusive relationship don’t have the luxury of time. They need assistance now. Fortunately, a number of organisations have stepped up over the years to make immediate help for victims of GBV easily accessible, with many groups offering not only counselling but also legal guidance.

Steps to take when you need to get out

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship and have made the decision to leave, there are a few steps you can take to make the process of getting out a little less daunting.

  • Tell someone you trust that you intend on leaving. This ensures you have a support system in place once you get out.
  • Plan your exit and leave a go back with a person you trust. This bag should include only necessities such as clothing, chronic medication, a bit of money (if possible) and any other items you need on a daily basis. Don’t pack items that your abuser might notice is missing.
  • Gather all personal legal documents such as your ID, birth certificates, medical reports and other important documents. Hand it over to someone you trust for safekeeping until you manage to get out.
  • If you no longer have control over your finances, asked someone you trust to open a savings account for you.
  • Save or memorise the contact details of your local domestic violence shelter or other place of safety.
  • Don’t try and break up with your abuser. Leave as soon as you can and warn family members and loved ones that your abuser might try to contact them.
  • Do not make any further contact with your abuser once you’re out.

REPORTING ABUSE

 

Stop Domestic Violence Helpline (Lifeline)

  • 0800 150 150

Government GBV Command Centre

  • 0800 428 428
  • *120*7867#

Rape Crisis

Childline

  • 0800 055 555

Human Trafficking Helpline

  • 0800 222 777

SA Women Fight Back (SAWFB)

Persons in need of urgent assistance can contact SAWFB on any of the below platforms. Please provide your contact info, the type of assistance needed (legal, counselling, etc.), a brief description of the situation and where you are located.

Report Abuse of Persons with Disabilities

  • SMS “help” (without the quotation marks) to 31531

Report Child Abuse

  • SMS “help” (without the quotation marks) to 31022

 

COUNSELLING SERVICES & SUPPORT

 

People Opposed Against Woman Abuse (POWA)

Available Mon – Sun from 08:30 to 16:30

  • 076 694 5911

TEARS Foundation

MOSAIC  (Cape Town)

South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)

Al-Anon Family Groups (Specific to Alcoholism)

 

LEGAL ADVICE AND SUPPORT

 

Legal Resources Centre (LRC)

  • Cape Town: 021 879 2398
  • Durban: 083 775 8775
  • Johannesburg: 011 038 9709
  • Makhanda (Eastern Cape): 083 387 8738

Women’s Legal Centre

Legal Aid SA

Available Mon – Fri from 07:00 to 19:00

  • 0800 110 110
  • Please Call Me: 079 835 7179

LawForAll

  • Phone: 0860 333 353
  • WhatsApp: 063 603 3759

Lawyers Against Abuse – Johannesburg

Sources: SAWFB | POWA | TEARS Foundation