What constitutes domestic violence?

BRIGHTON Beach SAP communications officer, Captain Louise Le Roux provides definitions of what constitutes domestic violence and what a domestic partnership entails, as the area experiences and increase in domestic violence.

What is domestic violence?

* Physical abuse – slapping, biting, kicking, beating, assault and threats to cause physical harm.

* Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse – repeated insults, name-calling, humiliation and invasion of privacy, such as threats to disclose a person’s HIV status.

* Sexual abuse – forcing a person to have sex against their will and sexual assault.

* Economic abuse – selling shared property without the victim’s consent, or withdrawing funds from a joint bank account for personal reasons without consent.

* Stalking – repeatedly following the victim, approaching them and demanding to talk to them.

* Damage to property – breaking furniture and deflating the tyres of the victim’s vehicle.

* Unauthorized entry into the victim’s residence – entering into the house of an ex without their consent.

* Intimidation – written or verbal threats which invoke fear.

* Harassment – making repeated unwanted phone calls to the victim, repeatedly watching a person or loitering at place where the victim is.

* Any other controlling or abusive behaviour towards yourself where such behaviour harms or may cause imminent harm to the safety, health or well-being of you or your family.

READ ALSO: Call police to intervene in domestic abuse cases

What is a domestic partnership?

A domestic relationship refers to the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator and includes a relationship where the people:

* are or were married to each other in terms of any law, custom or religion.

* live or have lived together in a relationship as husband and wife (whether they are of the same or of the opposite sex).

* are the parents of a child and share parental responsibility for the child (whether or not at the same time).

* are family members related by marriage, blood or adoption.

* are or were engaged, dated or in a customary relationship, including an actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationship of any duration.

* share or recently shared the same residence (whether or not they were romantically or sexually involved).

READ HERE: Are you being abused?


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Erin Hanekom

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