It might be challenging to rescue a victim of domestic abuse. Here you’ll find out what to do to help them on their way to independence.

This section focuses on important contact information, where to go, how to report a case, legal support, how to request a protection order, and police station procedures.

Important Contact Details

Saps Emergency Number – 10111

Stop Gender Violence Helpline – 0800 150 150

Childline – 0800 055 555

Aids Helpline 0800 012 322 Or (011) 725 6710

Crime Line – Sms Anonymous Tipoff To 32211

People Opposed To Woman Abuse – Powa – 011 642 4345

Saps Family Violence, Child Protection And Sexual Offences Unit – 011 871 5178

Saps Crime Stop – 08600 10111

Women Abuse Helpline – 0800 150 150

where to go

Shelters prefer not to have their details made public as it can be accessed by abusers. 

Victims can contact Alta from Epic Foundation, and she will be able to assist them with the correct shelter.

Epic Foundation • Alta McMaster • 082 940 6320

How to report a case

In the first instance, you should visit your nearest Netcare hospital. You won’t need to travel to the police station if you go to Netcare since they will arrange for the police to come to you. Within their trauma units, they have specialised rape crisis units that can help you. Rape survivors can receive services from Netcare for free.

In all other cases follow the steps below:

Whether or not you intend to file a charge, you can still report (laying a charge means you want the case to go to court). To start a case, visit the police station. 

Your statement will be taken by the officer. This implies that they will record your story after asking you what happened. To be sure he understood you correctly, you could ask the officer to recount the statement to you when he is done. 

The officer should then either give you a J88 form or transport you to a hospital or clinic so you may have a medical check-up. Police personnel ought to constantly show respect to sexual assault victims.

You must file a complaint to stop the rapist from hurting someone else.

Remember to bring a friend or family member. You have the right to talk to a female officer, and to have a private conversation.

You also have a right to communicate with people in your own language.

When making your statement, describe what happened in detail. Ask for a copy so you may add to your statement afterwards. It’s vital to recall what you stated throughout the trial.


If there isn’t a Netcare nearby, go to the nearest clinic or hospital to get checked out. You should go yourself if a police officer doesn’t take you for a medical examination when you arrive at the police station. 

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you should go within 72 hours and avoid taking a shower before you go since doing so will destroy the DNA. 

A J88 form will be filled out by the doctor. Never take the original J88 since it cannot be used in court if you do. Instead, ask the doctor for a duplicate. The police officer will get the original and place it in your file, called a docket.

Discuss your statement with the prosecutor. An investigation officer will be assigned to you once the police have opened a docket. 

The prosecutor will want to be certain that your account to the police was accurate and will want to know precisely what transpired. 

They’ll also get you ready for testifying in court. Both prosecutors and investigating officers have certain responsibilities towards you.

Tell your story in court as a witness. You will be required to provide testimony during the trial, which is known as “giving evidence.” 

It’s crucial that you maintain your composure and convey the truth. 

The defence attorney for the individual who hurt you will make an effort to suggest that you’re lying. So, it’s very important that you don’t panic and remain calm while telling your story and answering questions.

Visit the court to get the verdict and sentencing. The judgement and sentence will be read out by the judge or magistrate following the conclusion of the trial. 

This is crucial because it will let you know whether the individual who hurt you was found guilty and what punishment they’ll get. 

Depending on the offence, they might have to serve time in jail or only pay a fine to the judge. 

Sometimes they get a “suspended sentence”, which means that they will not go to jail immediately but if they do anything to hurt you again, they can go to jail without another trial. 

The investigating officer must get in touch with you to inform you of the verdict if you’re unable to attend court.

Visit a counsellor. It’s always a good idea to talk to someone about what happened since being assaulted is a really tough and traumatic event, even if you feel fine. 

Speaking about what happened will help you move past it and aid in your recovery process.

Make sure you request a referral for legal counsel.


Lawyers Against Abuse can assist with answering questions about legal processes for protection orders and criminal cases.

Their purpose is to engage with state actors, empower communities, and increase the response of the judicial systems to GBV by offering legal assistance and counselling to victims.

They support victims by offering comprehensive legal services, treatment, and counselling, and they make sure that their clients’ requirements in terms of their legal, emotional, and psychological well-being are addressed.

They work closely with local state actors like the police and prosecutors to create accountability in instances of misconduct and strengthen capacity through trainings and workshops.

Through community workshops and outreach initiatives, they seek to educate and empower individuals to challenge and change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence.

Legal Guides:


Before applying for a protection order, make sure you’re at a safe place where the abuser can no longer injure you. Start making plans to leave and find a safe place to stay if you’re still living with them.

Ask to file for a protection order in the court that is closest to you. An application form will be given to you by the court clerk. You have space in the application to put your story down, but you may add more pages if you want to.

Fill the court application and submit it. If you can, try to arrive early so that you might get an interim protection order the same day. If you’re late and cannot pick up your order that day, you may do so the next morning.

The magistrate will determine whether to grant you an interim protection order after receiving your application from the court clerk. 

An interim protection order is a temporary protection order that is only in place until your “return date,” which is the date you come back to court for your final hearing. Your temporary order will include a return date.

Take the interim protection order to the local police station. The individual who has been hurting (the respondent) you will receive the temporary order from the police. This is a crucial step since the interim order doesn’t take effect until they receive a copy.

Go back to court on the return date. On this day, the respondent and you will each have the chance to present your case before the magistrate, who will then determine whether to grant you a final protection order. Keep your composure and tell the truth.

You have to get an arrest warrant along with your final protection order. You can immediately call the police and have the responder arrested if the respondent ever breaches the protective order in any way. 

You can return to court and get a fresh warrant of arrest if the original is ever misplaced or destroyed.

Call the SA Police Services and give a statement if the abuser ignores a protection order. Give the police the order and arrest warrant you were issued.

The abuser will be taken into custody if you’re in imminent danger; otherwise, they will receive a notice to appear in court the following day.

Process at the Police Station

If you report your case to the police station, you can expect the following process.

At the police station, you will be required to sign the Occurrence Book.

After that, they will:

  • provide you with a notice in a language you understand and explain how you should proceed.
  • ask someone to talk to you in a language you understand.
  • take your statement privately, away from the abuser and general public.
  • decide on the basis of your statement, whether to arrest the abuser and take his/her firearm, as well as determine your needs and how to assist you.
  • serve a protection order on the individual it was made against, as the court ordered.
  • a copy of the protection order should be kept, and record every arrest made as proof for victims.
  • as further evidence that you reported the issue, write your complaint in the incident register at the station. This will also allow you to be updated on the status of your case.
  • The hospital or police station will inform you of support services available in your area.