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Police Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act in South Africa
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this research is to produce a deeper understanding of the role of

the police authorities in their adherence to the new constitution and laws that are

supposed to protect women, especially those affected by domestic violence. In order to

do that, this research focuses on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act of

1998 (DVA) by the police authorities in South Africa. I look into what factors influence

their attitudes towards and reactions to victims of domestic violence. I use a triangulation

of resources including case reports of domestic violence from court, online media

articles, research reports on domestic violence, police performance reports and other

governmental documents, as well as NGO reports of victims and police implementation

including an interview with someone who worked with women in South Africa.


I analyze my results using the three pillars of new institutionalism: regulative,

normative, and cultural-cognitive. This theory is useful in breaking down the issue to get

a deeper understanding on different levels. Each pillar explains the rules and legally

sanctioned acts, norms and values, and cultural assumptions behind the attitudes and

actions of the police when involved in domestic violence cases. This helps to see the

problem in different perspectives and explain how the police may play a role in

perpetuating domestic violence in South Africa.


Through my study on media articles, case reports, and NGO reports on the actions

of police, I found that the police do play a role in perpetuating domestic violence in South

Africa, though there are many factors that are involved. The norms of society itself show

that domestic violence is a private matter and should be kept within the home. The

gender power inequalities and social problems in South Africa are also actors in keeping

domestic violence such a problem. The government itself has not provided adequate

resources and training to properly implement the Domestic Violence Act. So, while the

police definitely plays a role in this problem and need to be better trained and more

compliant with the DVA and its provisions, there are many factors to consider that also

add to this epidemic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 65 p.
Keyword [en]
Domestic Violence
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43369OAI: diva2:814403
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Work, Master Programme, 60 credits
K-building, Linnaeus University, Växjö (English)
Available from: 2015-05-29 Created: 2015-05-26 Last updated: 2016-02-22Bibliographically approved

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