Training for Police on the Domestic Violence Act - research report.pdf

This project has its origins in the work of the Saartjie Baartman Legal Advice and Training Project, a partnership undertaking between the Saartjie Baartman Centre and the Gender Project of the Community Law Centre. Assisting clients in obtaining and enforcing protection orders in terms of the Domestic Violence Act (1998) (DVA) is a major part of the Legal Advice and Training Project’s work at the Saartjie Baartman Centre. In the course of this work, the Project has noticed that many of the well-documented shortcomings in the police response to domestic violence still persist. These range from infringements of complainants’ right to dignity (for example, making insensitive comments and ‘blaming’ them for the violence), to conduct that endangers their lives and right to freedom from violence, such as a refusal to intervene in potentially life-threatening situations of domestic violence. Such failures to act or intervene appropriately, in addition to potentially endangering the complainant, also constitute a breach of the duties imposed on the police by the DVA and the accompanying National Instruction issued by the Commissioner of Police in terms of the DVA.

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