It is a sad fact that many people will suffer some form of abuse from their partner during the course of their relationship. Some suffer daily abuse because they are unsure what to do to protect themselves from their abusive partner. It is often the case that the couple has a child together or that one party is financially dependent on the other, making it difficult for the abused party to simply leave their partner. Section 5 of the Domestic Violence Act 116 f 1998 makes provision for obtaining a protection order against an abusive domestic partner.


What is a Protection Order?

A protection order is a legal document which stipulates certain conditions that a perpetrator of domestic violence or abuse must comply with. The stipulations of a protection order can vary between cases and each complainant can detail the specific acts that the respondent should not engage in. The protection order seeks to prevent domestic abuse from recurring by explicitly stating what type of behaviour the alleged offender should refrain from. This order is issued by the courts and it effectively orders the respondent to stop any acts of domestic abuse against the complainant or their family. If the complainant reports to the police that the respondent has violated the terms of the order, they will be arrested to be brought before the court. Once there is a protection order in place it will be enforceable throughout the entire country.


The Effects of a Protection Order

A protection order seeks to prevent any form of abuse from occurring, whether it be physical, sexual, financial, emotional or verbal abuse. It prohibits the respondent from committing specific acts, such as entering a certain part of a joint residence or entering the complainant’s residence if the parties do not reside together. The respondent could also be restricted from entering the complainant’s place of employment. In certain instances, the alleged abuser can be denied contact with their child if the court deems it to be in the best interest of the child. Once a protection order has been granted a respondent is not allowed to prevent the complainant or a child that normally resides there, from entering any part of the shared residence.


Filing the Application

In order to have a domestic protection order granted you will have to be able to show a pattern of abuse and domestic violence by your partner. The complainant will have to complete an application in the form of an affidavit that contains a number of details:


  • The nature of the abuse that is taking place
  • The nature of the domestic relationship between the complainant and respondent
  • The police station that is most likely to be contacted if the protection order is breached
  • Any documentation that may support the claim of abuse should also be attached to this affidavit


The Clerk of the Court will submit the application papers to the appropriate Magistrate once the affidavit has been completed. An interim protection order will then be granted if the court is satisfied that the complainant’s claims of abuse are valid and that the respondent poses an imminent threat to their wellbeing. The interim protection order is only temporary and the respondent will have an opportunity to plead their case as to why the final protection order should not be granted.


Contact Cawood Attorneys if you require support filing for a protection order against an abusive partner. Our qualified team of attorneys treats each case with care and confidentiality as we work to find the most agreeable solutions to our client's problems. Break the cycle of abuse with Cawood Attorneys by your side.



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