LvA has assisted 95 clients in Diepsloot
Sharon* came to Lawyers against Abuse’s (LVA) office in Diepsloot in early 2015. Like many of LvA’s clients, Sharon had heard about LvA’s work to seek justice for women in her community who were victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
Sharon has two little boys, aged 10 and 5. One evening, Sharon’s ex-boyfriend followed her boys home and demanded to speak to their mother. Sharon asked him to leave but, as she turned to go back into the house, he hit her over the head with a brick and dragged her to his home, threatening to kill her. Sharon’s 10-year-old, aware of this man’s violent tendencies, grabbed his little brother, locked up the house and ran to the police station to get help for his mother. When the police arrived with her two boys, Sharon had already been beaten so badly she could barely walk. The police escorted her home and the following day she opened a criminal case of assault. A few days later, however, Sharon returned to the police station to withdraw the case. This was the fourth time Sharon had opened and then closed an assault case against her ex-boyfriend. This is a common pattern with victims of domestic violence who are either financially dependent on their abusive partners or find it difficult to leave because of the cycle of violence.
Fortunately, because of LvA’s relationship with the police, an officer referred Sharon to LvA for assistance. LvA explained the process for obtaining a protection order, assisted with the application, accompanied Sharon to her final hearing and successfully obtained a final protection order against her ex-boyfriend. Additionally, with LvA’s support, Sharon has decided to re-open her criminal case of assault. LvA has been following up with the police to ensure that Sharon’s criminal case is appropriately investigated and taken to trial. Sharon has also begun therapy with LvA’s psychologist, a process that will help her heal and hopefully empower her to take active steps to regain control over her life. Since receiving a final protection order, Sharon’s ex-boyfriend has made no attempt to harm her or her children.
*Client's name and certain details have been changed to protect her identity.