If You Feel That You’re Be­ing Ha­rassed, Read This

If you feel as though you’re be­ing ha­rassed, you can ap­ply for a pro­tec­tion or­der un­der the Pro­tec­tion from Ha­rass­ment Act

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - LOVE -

What qual­i­fies as ha­rass­ment un­der the Act

Ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion such as e-mails or mes­sages on so­cial me­dia plat­forms

Writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion such as let­ters

Sex­ual ha­rass­ment is de„ined as ‘any un­wel­come sex­ual at­ten­tion from a per­son who knows or who rea­son­ably knows that such at­ten­tion is un­wel­come’. This in­cludes prom­ises of a re­ward for sex­ual favours or pun­ish­ment for re­fus­ing such re­quests.

Who can ap­ply for a pro­tec­tion or­der

Any­one who be­lieves they are be­ing ha­rassed can ap­ply for a pro­tec­tion or­der.

Le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion is not nec­es­sary – in other words, you can ap­ply for an or­der for free.

Chil­dren un­der the age of 18 can ap­ply with­out be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents.

If some­one is un­able to ap­ply them­selves, an­other per­son is able to ap­ply for a pro­tec­tion or­der on their be­half.

If some­one is harassing you on­line and you don’t know who they are, the Act al­lows for the court to re­quest the de­tails of this per­son from their ser­vice provider.

What it pro­tects you from

Phys­i­cal, men­tal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and eco­nomic harm.

Pro­tec­tion avail­able un­der the Act

A „inal court or­der pro­hibits a per­son from harassing or en­list­ing the help of some­one else to ha­rass or com­mit any act in the pro­tec­tion or­der.

Not com­ply­ing with a „inal pro­tec­tion or­der is a crim­i­nal o‘ffence. So if the per­son who the pro­tec­tion or­der is against con­tin­ues to ha­rass the com­plainant, the po­lice can im­me­di­ately ar­rest them.

Where to get one

You can ap­ply for a pro­tec­tion or­der un­der the Act at any mag­is­trate’s court. Find your lo­cal one at Jus­tice. gov.za/con­tact/ low­er­court­s_­full. html or visit Le­gal-aid.co.za for free help and info.

How to ap­ply for one

Com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion form (down­load one from Jus­tice.gov.za) and in­clude:

The rea­sons why you’re seek­ing a pro­tec­tion or­der

De­tails of any in­ci­dents of ha­rass­ment you have ex­pe­ri­enced

The specif„ic acts com­mit­ted by the per­son caus­ing the ha­rass­ment

A re­quest for the court to pro­vide the nec­es­sary pro­tec­tion.

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