Where to get help in South Africa if you are being abused

Numerous organisations around South Africa provide services such as counselling, temporary shelter and legal help to people in abusive relationships. We’ve compiled a guide with phone numbers and other contact details.

South Africa joined the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in 1998. (Image: Shamin Chibba)

Brand South Africa reporter

16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is a global campaign to raise awareness, running from 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day. The period includes Universal Children’s Day and World Aids Day.

Joining in

In 1998, South Africa adopted the campaign to contribute to a society that is free of violence and to raise awareness about the negative consequences of abuse of women and children.

South Africa’s theme this year is: “Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”.

Getting help

There are many organisations which help people who are being abused. If you think you need help, here’s a list of places you can contact for assistance:

People Opposed to Woman Abuse, or Powa

Powa provides counselling, both telephonically and in person, temporary shelter for and legal help to women who have experienced violence.

Stop Gender Violence

Run by LifeLine Southern Africa, Stop Gender Violence offers crisis counselling for women who have been raped or abused. It also gives advice and support to people who wish to help women who are in need of help, and gives legal and other options available.

Childline South Africa

This non-profit organisation helps abused children and their families. It deals with issues such as physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems and trafficking, and gives legal advice.

Child Welfare South Africa

Child Welfare South Africa focuses on child protection, child care and family development. Neglect and child abuse can also be reported.

Family and Marriage Association of SA, or Famsa

Famsa provides counselling and education to help improve marriages and families. It helps in cases of domestic violence and trauma, divorces and mediation. There are 27 offices across the country.

    • Website: Famsa
    • Phone number: 011 975 7106/7

Tears Foundation

Founded in 2012, this non-profit organisation provides a database of medical, legal and psychological services available in South Africa to help those who have been raped or survived sexual abuse.

The Trauma Centre

The centre believes violence is predictable and preventable. “The Trauma Centre contributes towards violence prevention through advocacy, capacity building, research and the provision of mental health services for survivors,” reads its website. It also provides counselling to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

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