Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that takes place in public or in private and is directed at an individual based on their biological sex OR gender identity. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, control and economic or educational deprivation.
GBV can be experienced by anyone, irrespective of one’s geographical location, socio-economic background, race, class, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
While women and girls are most at risk and disproportionately harmed by GBV, it must also be acknowledged that GBV may be experienced by boys, heterosexual men and those who form part of sexual and gender minorities.
For boys, heterosexual men, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, queer and gender diverse people accessing support, legal protections and justice for GBV can be particularly difficult. Not only does the dominant discourse around GBV frame it as violence committed by men against women, but also heteronormativity, homophobia and stigma may negatively impact the support and protective measures that should be available to one.
Although South Africa has progressive, victim-centred laws and policies aimed at providing protection from as well as justice for GBV, it remains necessary to ensure that protective, supportive and justice systems are accessible and responsive to victims needs – be they cis-gender, gender diverse, heterosexual and/or LGBTIQ persons – and that both the State and private institutions are held accountable for failures in this regard.
The Benefit of Virtual Legal Consultations in Situations of GBV
Malcolm Lyons and Brivik Attorneys have recently launched a digital platform to offer virtual consultations to victims of gender-based violence. Having the option of a virtual legal consultation with an experienced lawyer means that legal advice and support are available at a time that is convenient for you, without needing to miss work or travel to reach a lawyer’s office. It also ensures privacy for clients who may not wish to be seen seeking legal advice or for whom consulting a lawyer may increase the risk of further violence.
To book a virtual consultation for gender-based violence, click here.
Should you require a consultation for medical negligence, personal injury or a road accident claim, please contact our offices:
Cape Town Office:
Telephone: +27(0) 21 425-5570
Telephone: +27(0) 11 268 6697