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Act before it’s too late
police

Victims of domestic violence in Brackenfell can now get help fast, before tragedy strikes.

In a plight to protect women and children, who are most vulnerable to this crime, victims of abuse can now apply for protection orders at the victim support unit of Brackenfell police station, rather than the Kuils River court, as previously prescribed.

As of Tuesday 10 September, volunteer Judy du Preez will be assisting community members to complete protection order applications every second Tuesday from 10:00 to 15:00, says police spokesperson Capt Erica Crous.

Du Preez has been involved in volunteer work for the past 20 years. She started volunteering in Eerste River, where she also resides, with an organisation called Women of Hope. From there she worked as a volunteer for non-profit organisation Mosaic for 10 years.

“Part of her volunteering duties was to assist victims of abuse at Kuils River court in completing applications for protection orders and explaining the court processes to the applicants. She has an extensive knowledge of policies and procedures with regard to protection orders,” says Crous.

“Because of her good working relationship with Brackenfell police over the years, she approached us and offered her assistance to which we gladly agreed.”

Lt-Col Jerome Syster, acting station commander of Brackenfell police, is thrilled with this development.

“We have to take a zero tolerance stance against crimes against women and children. Although men also fall victim to domestic violence (and are entitled to the same professional assistance), women are the biggest targets of these forms of abuse. I am excited about this service which will now be available through our victim support services. I am hoping this will only further encourage victims of abuse to come forward and ask for help.”

Apart from having the right to open a criminal case against a perpetrator of abuse, any victim is always strongly encouraged to also apply for a protection order.

“An approved protection order refrains the perpetrator to desist from any acts of abuse stipulated therein. Should the perpetrator contravene that order, the victim can approach the police and lay a charge against the perpetrator for contravening the protection order,” says Crous.

In many cases, transport is a problem for victims and it is difficult for them to get to court for these applications.

“It takes great courage for any victim of abuse to take that first step of reaching out and asking for help. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that these people are treated with empathy and assisted in the best possible way,” says Crous.

The aim of this service is to create an environment where victims of domestic abuse can feel empowered and encouraged in taking back control of their lives. 

  •  Anyone with further enquiries is welcome to contact Captain Erica Crous or Hester Bussio at Brackenfell police on 021 980 5722.
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