Get Help

Victims of abuse are often severely traumatized and with long-term physical and psychological injuries. It is essential that the correct support be received. The path to take in the aftermath of an abusive situation is not always clear. This is an emotional time and thinking with a clear head is not easy. There are many organisations who will be able to assist you. Find an organisation below that is closest to you to assist you.

There are many organisations that:

  • offer help for women and children affected by abuse,
  • are involved in awareness activities and campaigns and
  • offer legal and support services.

Find the organisations below who can offer you the help you need.  If you know of other organisations which we can mention on this portal, please feel free to email your details to info@vitalfoundation.co.za

Woman Abuse helpline – 0800 150 150

Childline 24hr helpline – 0800 055 555

SAPS Emergency Services – 10111

Suicide Crisis Line – 0800 567 567

Human Trafficking Helpline – 0800 555 999

Crimeline – 32211

Gender Based Violence Command Centre – 0800 428 428
OR for a social worker to call you back, call – *120*7867

STEPS TO TAKE

If you know or suspect a child
is being abused or neglected

If you are currently in an abusive situation

If you know of someone who
is in a possible abusive situation


If you know or suspect a child is being abused or neglected

If you know or suspects that a child is being physically or sexually abused you have a legal and moral responsibility to report it. It is never acceptable to stand by when a child is being hurt or sexually abused by an adult, but reporting abuse can be a daunting process. Some of the steps involved and organisations or institutions that you can turn to for support are listed.

Report child abuse:

Child abuse can be reported to an government body including the South African Police Services, Child Welfare or the Department of Social Development. If you are uncertain if abuse is really taking place or you are not sure what steps you should take you can contact Childline on 0800 055 555 for support. They also have referral services that will help you report known or suspected abuse in your area.

Find out more here.


If you are currently in an abusive situation, the following information could assist you

You are not alone.
You are not responsible.
You can get help

Protecting yourself from domestic violence, know your rights.

Have a plan of action

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you need to start planning what you would do in a crisis situation. This is critical for the safety of you and your children. This plan could include storing emergency clothes, money, special children’s toys, important documents, addresses and telephone numbers and duplicate car keys with someone you trust. Plan how to contact emergency help at any time. It may be useful to agree on signals with a neighbour if you can’t get to a telephone.

Always carry a list of emergency numbers with you, and make sure that the people you usually visit have a copy of the protection order and/or the warrant of arrest. Whether or not you decide to leave the abusive situation, one of the national helplines or support services can help you to plan how to leave in an emergency and find a place of safety. If you decide to move away, make sure it is safe and that you cannot be traced straight away. Leave when your partner is not around, and take your children with you. Make sure that you have all essential documents.

We have listed Safe houses / shelters in the list of organisations if you urgently need a place of safety and protection.


If you know of someone who is in a possible abusive situation

What do I look out for…

There are behaviours and signs that are common with people who are experiencing domestic and family violence.

They may:

– Stop going out or claim they are not allowed to, with no other obvious reason.
– Appear anxious, depressed, tired or teary for no other obvious reason.
– Appear timid, wary, self-critical or self-conscious around their partner, or their partner seems rude or nasty to them.
– Have injuries or time in hospital that raises your suspicion.
– Keep feeling they need to justify their movements or expenses.
– Complain of being followed, monitored, stalked or controlled.

What you could ask…

While it’s important to be aware of the signs of domestic and family violence, in the end the only way to be certain that there is a problem is to ask the person about what is going on. Of course, this can be difficult and it should be done carefully.

Family members or friends can try direct, gentle questioning such as:
– You’ve seemed really stressed lately, is everything ok at home?
– I noticed those bruises, did someone do that to you?
– Your partner seems to be making you frightened, is everything ok?
– Are you ok?

Don’t pressure, don’t confront, but do open up the space for compassionate listening, and give your friend or loved one opportunities to speak in private.

What to do…

It’s very important to believe what a person experiencing domestic and family violence tells you, even if you think their partner or ex seems charming, kind or nice. People who perpetrate domestic and family violence can be very good at presenting themselves in a positive way in public.

Don’t blame the person or minimise the abuser’s responsibility for the abuse. If they have relationship problems, these are most likely to have been caused by the abuse, not by her ‘personality’ or by conflict.

Here are some ways you can help your family member or friend:
– Take their fears seriously.
– Help them in practical ways – with transport, appointments, child minding, a place to escape to if they feel unsafe. Offer to help them go to an organisation or place where they can get help. Help to give the children a sense of your care and support.
– Understand the difficult choices they have to make – they may not be ready or it may not be safe for them to leave.
– Help them to sort through options to get safe, whether they leave or stay with the abuser.
– Be positive about their strengths and what they have done so far to stay safe or keep their children safe. Remember that domestic and family violence involves more than the physical acts of abuse, and that perpetrators will target self-confidence and ‘grind down’ the resilience of the people they abuse.
– Talk to them about protection orders and how they can get it. Find out how: ‘Protecting yourself from domestic violence, know your rights.’
– If you have concerns that someone may be killed or seriously harmed, you may need to speak to the police. Remember, domestic and family violence can be dangerous.

Call one of the emergency numbers if you see your friend or their children being harmed or assaulted, or you are frightened they are about to be attacked.

View the reference here.