Frequently Asked Questions

What is domestic violence?

According to the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, it is:

  • Any form of abuse which includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic harassment
  • Damage to property
  • Stalking
  • Both men and women can be guilty of, and be victims of domestic violence.

What do I do if I am trapped in a domestic violence situation?

  • Approach The Open Door for counselling and advice, or other recognised organisations dealing with gender-based violence.
  • Criminal Prosecution is one of the effective ways of ending domestic violence.

How do I get protection through the criminal justice system?

  • Go to the nearest Police Station and lay criminal charges against your abuser.

What do I do if I have been raped?

  • Go to a safe place
  • Go straight to the local police station, who will take you to the nearest Thuthuzela Rape Centre or government hospital to be examined by a district surgeon or available doctor. A friend or close relative can accompany the victim to the hospital or the police station.
  • Do not wash or throw away your clothes as much as you would want to. This is important for DNA and evidence.
  • At the Police Station, you have a right to make your statement in a private room and request a female officer. You can have a friend/family member with you.
  • Take down the name of the officer, case no and know that the law entitles you to a copy of your statement.
  • It is important to get support and counselling after being sexually abused. These counselling services are offered by The Open Door and recognised organisations dealing with gender-based violence.
  • It is important to get antiretroviral (ARVs) within 72 hours of penetration, attempted penetration, oral sex or anal sex. You will also receive PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) medication, to prevent HIV transmission.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will.

In other words, trafficking is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them.

People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, forced criminality, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.


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