How to leave an abusive relationship when you have no money

At Libertine Consultants, we have helped many clients who encountered tough financial times due to a split from an abusive partner. It happens more often than you might think, and we’re here to let you know there is hope, even if you feel trapped due to a lack of financial resources. Here are the first steps you should take when you decide to leave an abusive relationship.

date: 02/10/2017Author:

Get yourself & your children to a place of safety

If you can’t evacuate yourself and your children (if you have any) to a place of safety at a relative or friend’s house, go to the police station. Domestic violence is regulated by the Domestic Violence Act, which was introduced in 1998 with the purpose of affording women protection from abuse and creating law enforcement bodies such as the SA Police Service to protect victims.

You won't have to open a case and they must take you to a place of safety. If the officer on duty is not helpful, insist on speaking to a captain. It is their duty to help you according to law. Shelters like the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Cape Town will provide shelter, clothing and food free of charge, and have programmes in place to help you regain your confidence, secure financial support and find employment.

Secure a protection order

The next thing you should do is get a protection order, also known as a restraining order, from the court. This is free and will legally protect you from harassment by your abuser.

Apply for emergency monetary relief

Apply for emergency monetary relief through the courts. This means your spouse has to provide you with maintenance or provide you with money to cover rent or bond repayments.

Apply for maintenance from your partner

If you were married or had a documented civil union, you are eligible for maintenance from your partner. If you need legal assistance and can’t afford it, there are organisations that can help on a pro bono basis, such as the Law Society of SA and the Women’s Legal Centre.

Lay the groundwork for financial independence

Are you having difficulty repaying your creditors due to a split from your partner, and a lack of financial support on their part? Get in touch with one of our consultants. While we are not in the position to make your partner pay their dues, we can help you to restructure your debt to make it more manageable.

Let us help you to pave the way to a happier, more prosperous future.

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Call +27 (21) 949 2211 for advice on debt in Cape Town and rest of South Africa