South Africa has an alarmingly high rate of domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 provides a number of mechanisms that seek to support victims and protect them from their abuser.
An adult or child seeking protection can apply for the issue and enforcement of a protection order. Children can have another person apply on their behalf, without the consent of the parents or guardian.
An interim protection order can be applied for issued. It contains strict terms and conditions that must be complied with. For example, a spouse may be restricted from communicating with or coming near the other spouse. It also states the date that both parties must appear in court for a hearing at which a final protection order may be issued.