Lawyers against Abuse (LvA)

Johannesburg , Gauteng


Violence against women is rampant in South Africa. In the community of Diepsloot, where LvA works, 78.8% of community members interviewed said the most common type of violence is domestic violence. Many women lack meaningful access to legal relief and suffer secondary victimization when trying to seek justice.


LvA provides direct legal services and psycho-social support to victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and focuses its work in the community of Diepsloot, an informal settlement of 500,000 people in Johannesburg where incidences of GBV are exceptionally high. LvA prepares and submits protection orders, attends court hearings, and ensures the police and the court are respectful and responsive to victims' needs. To support our clients emotionally, LvA also provides individual and group counseling. Through our work on these individual cases, LvA repeatedly engages with state actors to improve the enforcement of laws and treatment of GBV victims. LvA also provides educational community workshops to create awareness of GBV in the community. LvA’s community-based model is designed to create change on a systemic level, rather than only for our individual clients.