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National Domestic Violence Awareness Month | Affinity Health

In light National Domestic Awareness Month, leading medical insurance providers in SA, Affinity Health offers all members emergency and trauma support. 

 

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as violence perpetrated by someone in the victim’s immediate family. Partners and ex-partners, family members, other relatives, and family friends are all included in this category.

 

Statistics show a dramatic increase in domestic violence cases worldwide since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse or threat of physical abuse
  • Sexual assault or the fear of sexual abuse
  • Emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment or stalking
  • Damage to or destruction of property

Domestic violence in SA is astronomically high. According to a World Health Organization research, 60,000 women and children in our country are victims of domestic abuse.

 

While the implementation of lockdowns have successfully prevented even greater rates of Covid-19 infection and death, they, unfortunately, bring with them an increase in domestic violence. An upsurge in violence has been reported in all corners of South Africa.

 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) received 2,300 calls for help connected to gender-based violence in the first week of the lockdown. Intimate partners had killed 21 women and children in the country by mid-June 2020.

Granted, it is difficult to gather accurate statistical data because domestic violence is rarely reported, according to a national study of female homicide in South Africa:
  • One in every five partnered women (21%) has been the victim of physical violence by a partner.
  • Women who were divorced or separated were more likely to have experienced physical or sexual violence than other women.
  • Physical aggression was more common among women with less education than women with a secondary education or higher.
  • Physical violence against partners is highest in the Eastern Cape, while sexual violence is at an all-time high in the North West.

Reports state that people stay in violent relationships for a variety of reasons, including lack of self-worth, isolation, financial constraints, and fear.

“If you are a victim of domestic violence or know or suspect that someone is a victim of domestic violence, it’s important that you get immediate help, treatment, and support,”

says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“There are numerous shelters, social services, attorneys, counsellors, or support groups that you can turn to.”

Know Your Rights

If you’ve experienced or been threatened with domestic violence, it’s essential to know that you have rights.

  1. Victims of sexual abuse can lay a criminal charge, get a protection order, get a court order to have their abuser’s gun removed, and lodge a claim for pain and suffering, as well as medical costs.
  2. When reporting rape or sexual abuse, you have the right to make your statement in a private room, make your statement to a female officer (if there is one), and make your statement in your own language.
  3. You have the right to receive trauma counselling.
  4. You have the right to receive HIV / AIDS antiretroviral. It is essential to get antiretroviral (ARVs) within 72 hours of penetration, attempted penetration, oral sex, or anal sex. You will also receive PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) medication.

Affinity Health offers all members confidential trauma support and counselling by professional and dedicated professionals for traumatic events such as sexual assault, crime, trauma-related gender-based violence, death, attempted suicide, and domestic violence – with no waiting period.

 

Additionally, members, and non-members, can reach out to the following organisations:
SADAG:
24-hour helpline:
0800 45 67 89
FAMSA:
Helpline:
021 447 7951
TEARS Foundation:
Helpline:
010 590 5920
Email:
info@tears.co.za
Lifeline:
Helpline:
0861 32 23 22
POWA:
Helpline:
011 642 4345/6
Stop Gender Violence toll-free hotline:
0800 150 150
Family Life Centre
Johannesburg:
011 788 4784
Lawyers against Abuse:
Helpline:
072 031 1840
Email:
info@lva.org.za
Childline:
(for child victims of child abuse):
0800 05 55 55

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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