The Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act 116 of 1998)


”Domestic relationship” means a relationship between a complainant and a respondent in any of the following ways: 

  • they are or were married to each other, including marriage according to any law, custom or religion;

  • they (whether they are of the same or of the opposite sex) live or lived together in a relationship in the nature of marriage, although they are not, or were not, married to each other, or are not able to be married to each other;

  • they are the parents of a child or are persons who have or had parental responsibility for that child (whether or not at the same time);

  • they are family members related by consanguinity, affinity or adoption;

  • they are or were in an engagement, dating or customary relationship. including an actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationship of any duration; or they share or recently !shared the same residence;


”Domestic Violence” means: 

  • physical abuse;

  • sexual abuse;

  • emotional, verbal and psychological abuse;

  • economic abuse;

  • intimidation;

  • harassment:

  • stalking;

  • damage to property:

  • entry into the complainant?s residence without consent, where the parties do not share the same residence; or

  • any other controlling or abusive behaviour towards a complainant, where such conduct harms, or may cause imminent harm to, the safety. health or wellbeing of the complainant;


″Economic abuse″ includes:

  • the unreasonable deprivation of economic or financial resources