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Of Emotional Abuse As A Form Of Gender Based Violence 4

We explicated on some of the emotional remedies available to emotional abuse victims in the last article.

This piece is a furtherance of the former. It will also touch on some of the legal solutions accessible to casualties of emotional abuse and gender based violence in general under the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28: 05.

 • Forgive your partner - Forgiveness does not mean forgetting about the wrong completely and letting an abuser walk all over you. It simply means letting go of the anger you have towards the abuse perpetrated against you and the abuser for having ill-treated you. It also denotes being at peace with the maltreatment you incurred from the hands of the abuser. When we are perpetually angry (without finding constructive ways to release our pent up anger) about how we have been mistreated our body gets in a relentless flight/fight mode which proliferates our chances of heart diseases and other stress related diseases.

• Make room for emotional torrents and allow yourself to grieve the agony of emotional abuse. Additionally set a time frame for your mourning period and decide when you will move on for you cannot bemoan for life. The mourning epoch differs from one individual to another. It is also dependent on the length of the relationship; the longer the relationship the more you may need more time to emotionally repatch and the shorter the relationship the lesser time you may need to rebound emotionally.

• Communicate with your partner honestly if both of you are willing to recuperate the relationship – Having heart to heart conversations about emotional abuse with your beloved may succour your healing process.

• Go for therapy if possible – Counselling can expedite the healing of any casualty of emotional abuse provided the victim is ready to do all that is recommended for the restoration of their emotional and mental health.

 • At this juncture it is paramount to tackle the legal remedies reachable to victims of emotional abuse and gender based violence in general. According to Section 7 (1), of the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28:05, a victim of emotional abuse or other types of domestic/gender based violence encapsulated in the Act can make an application for an interim order, restraining order, tenancy or occupancy order against the

abuser. For purposes of this article, we will dwell on the pre requisites of an interim order.

 • An application for an interim order ought to be made by the applicant/victim of abuse, except in circumstances where the victim is a minor; mentally challenged; unconscious; under the influence of an intoxicating substance.

• The court shall issue an interim order ex parte where it is satisfied that-

(a) Domestic violence has occurred;

(b) There is a serious risk of harm being caused to the applicant or child; or

(c) The order will ensure immediate protection of the applicant.

 • An interim order may-

 (a) Direct a member of the Botswana Police Service, Local Police or Deputy Sheriff to-

 (i) Remove, immediately or within a specified time, the applicant, a child or the Respondent from the residence; or

(ii) Accompany, within a specified time, a specified person to the residence to supervise the removal of personal belongings of the applicant, child or the Respondent;

• An interim order may also prohibit the respondent from-

 (i) Committing an act of domestic violence;

(ii) Entering specific parts of the residence;

(iii) Entering the applicant’s residence, work place or any other place of safety or

 (iv) Communicating with or contacting the applicant or other specified persons; or

(v) Make any other provision that the court considers necessary to provide for the immediate protection of the applicant or child.

• The court may however, authorise the issue of a warrant of arrest of the respondent/abuser where it is satisfied that the applicant/abused or child is under imminent danger from the respondent.

 • Lastly forget the past and focus on what is before you – After exhausting all the emotional and legal measures possible for your emotional healing, pour your energy into your ‘new healed self’ and the life that lies ahead of you. If we keep on focusing on the past after healing from same, we become the past and miss out on the joy and opportunities of the present. Gaone Monau is a practicing attorney and motivational speaker.

For bookings on gender based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or Her Facebook page is (Be Motivated with Gaone).

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