Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA

by Lawyers Against Abuse
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA
Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence in SA

Project Report | Jul 1, 2022
Celebrating the strength of our clients

By Lindsay Henson | Executive Director

Founded in 2011, Lawyers against Abuse (LvA) is a non-profit organisation that works to strengthen the justice system’s response to gender-based violence (GBV) by providing holistic legal services and therapy for victims, working with state actors and empowering communities. Through our community-based centres in Diepsloot, Orange Farm and Hillbrow, we assist victims secure protection orders and pursue criminal cases of GBV and work closely with local police and court officials to ensure that victim’s rights are respected and that the justice system responds effectively and efficiently to these crimes. We also care for victim’s mental health needs through individual and group-based therapy and counseling and empower community members with information about their rights, legal remedies and available support services.

Over the last ten years, we have provided critical assistance to over 1,600 victims, each with their own unique story. For example,

Andiswa* was seven years old when she and her friend were attacked and raped by a “family friend” when walking home from public swimming pool. Over the next three years, LvA’s legal and psychosocial teams worked together to provide Andiswa with comprehensive support. Andiswa began receiving individual therapy in 2019 and, in 2021, also began participating in a group therapy with other children her age who had also experienced some form of sexual violence. At the same time, LvA’s legal team supported Andiswa and her family throughout the criminal case against the perpetrator, liaising with the investigating officer and prosecutor assigned to the case throughout the investigation and pre-trial stages and accompanying them for trial hearings. Although the trial was scheduled to begin in early 2020, the case suffered numerous postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Andiswa was finally called to testify in March 2021, she surpassed everyone’s expectations as she was able to articulate her story clearly and bravely identify the man who raped her and her friend without wavering. Andiswa was later awarded a Certificate of Bravery by the National Prosecuting Authority for her testimony. In May 2021, the perpetrator was found guilty and received a 25-year sentence.

Sophie* was abused by her boyfriend and would occasionally have to miss work due to the severity of the abuse. When Sophie first began her counseling sessions, she was overwhelmed by feelings of fear, shame and guilt. LvA’s social worker helped her to understand the emotions she was experiences were a natural consequence of the trauma she had endured which, in turn, helped to normalise these reactions for Sophie. Over time, she demonstrated gradual improvements in her mental state including regaining an interest in her work, establishing regular sleeping patterns and implementing healthier coping strategies. Through these sessions, Sophie began to regain a sense of control over her life and decided to stand up against her abuser. Over the next several months, Sophie worked with LvA’s legal team to secure a protection order against her abusive partner.

After having been sexually abused by her step-father as a child and witnessing his ongoing physical abuse of her mother, 20-year-old Thembeka* worked with LvA’s therapist for over a year to regulate her anxiety and re-affirm her self-worth. After witnessing these positive changes, Thembeka’s mother, Mpumelelo*, agreed to come for counselling. Over the next five months, Mpumelelo worked with LvA’s social worker to explore the possibility of leaving her abusive partner, including developing a plan and identifying family members who could assist. Mpumelelo also agreed to work with LvA’s legal team and successfully secured a protection order against her abusive partner. Shortly thereafter, Mpumelelo bravely packed her and her children’s belongings and left her partner after 15 years of abuse. With their newfound freedom, Mpumelelo and Thembeka have both secured employment and are committed to continuing with their respective growth journeys.

*Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of LvA’s clients.

With your support, LvA can provide critical assistance to hundreds of other women and girls in situations like Andiswa, Sophie, Thembeka and Mpumelelo. To learn more about our work, please visit our website at www.lva.org.za.

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Mar 4, 2022
Addressing Gender Norms and GBV: ECD Intervention

By Lindsay Henson | Executive Director

Nov 5, 2021
A Family Freed from Violence

By Lindsay Henson | Executive Director

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Organization Information

Lawyers Against Abuse

Location: Braamfontein, Gauteng - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LvA_SouthAfrica
Project Leader:
Lindsay Henson
Diepsloot, Johannesburg , Gauteng South Africa
$62,374 raised of $75,000 goal
 
746 donations
$12,626 to go
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