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End your silence
The only way we can stop the cycle of domestic violence, is to come together and end the silence.

This is a safe space for you to discover how to do that. Your way.

Ending Your Silence

Ending your silence against domestic violence means speaking up for yourself when you experience or see abuse taking place. Domestic violence is a prevailing social problem that majorly affects women and girls across South Africa.

Unfortunately, a significant number of cases of abuse go unreported, which means the majority of abuse victims live in silence about their experiences of domestic violence, often out of shame or fear of the stigma of domestic abuse. In dealing with the significant levels of domestic violence devastating the country, silence is one of the greatest barriers to addressing domestic violence as it keeps victims and witnesses of abuse from reporting cases of domestic violence.

End the Silence - How to Speak Up Against Abuse?

The only way to stop the cycle of domestic violence is by coming together and ending the silence around domestic abuse. We have some short and long-term strategies you can use to play your part in ending the silence.

These are strategies you can use to help get you the support you need to leave or report an abusive relationship as early as possible.
 
  • Speaking to someone is the first step in ending domestic silence. Whether it is a friend, family member, your HR department, or someone in your community you trust, find someone you can speak to about the abuse.
  • Make plans for leaving the abusive situation such as planning how you can move out permanently by arranging a place to stay, setting money aside, and seeking employment if you are not currently employed so that you can support yourself financially once you leave.
  • If you can, temporarily move out and find a safe space to stay. If you don't have a place to stay, there are a number of NGO shelters available across the country that can assist you.
  • Get support by contacting a women’s organisation like POWA, for help and legal advice.
These strategies will assist you over the longer term going into the future, to help you get protection, legal recourse, heal, and find closure from your abuse.
 
  • Speak with a counsellor who is experienced in domestic abuse situations to help you deal with and heal from your abuse.
  • Get a Domestic Violence Protection Order at your local Magistrate’s Court so that you can protect yourself, and your children if you have any, from your abuser.
  • Exercise your right to lay a charge of assault with the police if you have experienced physical abuse. This is another way to protect yourself from continued abuse.

Ending your silence around domestic violence can be difficult and scary, but your voice is a powerful force and an essential first step in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Reach out to organisations like POWA for support and more information about initiatives and resources to help you end your silence and break the cycle of domestic violence.