Domestic violence on the rise in ’Plain

Help is at hand for victims of domestic violence.

A high number of common assault and malicious damage to property complaints have been reported at Mitchell’s Plain police.

Captain Ian Williams, spokesman at Mitchell’s Plain police station, said many of these cases are domestic violence-related.

“The perpetrators are most often family members or someone known to the victim. Most of the perpetrators are men. The methods of abuse include punching, hitting with the fist, slapping and biting. Items used to seriously injure victims include knives, hammers, cups and beer bottles.”

Captain Williams said alcohol and drugs played a huge role in these cases.

“These incidents also happen when the perpetrator demands money for drugs from the household.Abusepatterns usually start in childhood and need to be broken,” he said.

Captain Williams said domestic violence was often thought to only include physical violence, but the acts, behaviour and consequences that make up domestic violence vary in nature and frequency.

“Domestic violence is regulated by the Domestic Violence Act. This act applies to domestic violence that takes place in a domestic relationship. It can be a domestic relationship with someone you are or were married to; your parents or guardian; any family member(s); including your own child(ren); anyone you have lived with, whether you were married to that person or not; your life partner of the same sex; someone you went out with, even for a short time, or had sex with; or someone with whom you share a child.”

He said domestic violence also related to emotional abuse and any other controlling or abusive behaviour which posed a threat to the person’s safety, health and well-being.”

Captain Williams said victims of abuse could apply for a protection order at the nearest police station or magistrate’s court.

“The order prevents the perpetrator from continuing the abuse. It may also prevent the person from getting help from any other person to commit such acts. An interim protection order can also be issued at any time of the day or night for your protection.”

He said they provided victims with advice on how to proceed and take reasonable steps to protect the complainant from any further danger.

“We will go with victims to their homes if they need to collect personal belongings. We help them by providing medical attention, shelter, victim support counselling and shelter if needed.”