Divisional Webinar: The Domestic Violence Amendment Act 2021: Is it enough and what are its implications for psychological practise?
The Domestic Violence Amendment Act 2021 (DVAA), in tandem with the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act, and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, aims to strengthen the protection and support of vulnerable persons, and increase the scope for reporting and monitoring.
However, the most recent crime statistics reveal an enduring pattern of violence that target women and other marginalised and vulnerable persons, and are increasingly perpetrated in places that are traditionally associated with safety, such as homes and schools. In light of the amended Acts and what they hope to achieve, we ask, to what extent does the DVAA benefit and protect vulnerable groups, in particular, women, children, queer persons, and persons with disabilities? What is the likely impact of the DVAA on the incidence of GBV and femicide, particularly for these vulnerable groups? Inter alia, certain functionaries (i.e. medical practitioners, health care personnel, social workers, educators and caregivers, who could mental health practitioners) who reasonably believe or suspect that an act of domestic violence has been committed against a child, a disabled person, or an older person must report such belief or suspicion to a social worker or the SAPS. What might need to be done differently and what are the implications for the work of psychologists, particularly in relation to the new assessment and reporting obligations?
Angeline Stephens, PhD (she/her) is a psychologist who works in student mental health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is also an executive member of the Sexuality and Gender division of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). Her work is informed by feminist, critical and decolonial approaches to psychological praxis that recognises the interconnectedness between persons and contexts. She is particularly interested in the intersections of gender, sexuality, violence, citizenship, and work with marginalised people. She has been a guest editor for Agenda and has peer-reviewed papers for Feminism & Psychology, PINS, and, Social and Health Sciences.
Lisa Vetten has spent three decades opposing gendered forms of violence, working variously as a counsellor, para-legal, researcher and occasional drafter of policy for government. Between 2013 and 2015 she acted as the Commission for Gender Equality’s specialist on violence against women. From 2019 to 2022 she served as a member of the Ministerial Task Team advising the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation on intervention to address gendered violence and harm in South African universities. Her other research interests include science and technology studies, the state, systems of justice, and systems of care. As a project consultant in the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Humanities, Lisa contributes to the research project ‘Gendered Violence and Urban Transformation in India and South Africa.’ She is also a research associate of Wits’
Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. Lisa contributed to the drafting of the original Domestic Violence Act and commented on its recent amendments. She has researched the Act’s implementation by the police and courts and is currently part of a project examining the health sector’s role in addressing domestic violence. This includes a specific focus on mental health.
Nkanyiso Madlala (he/him) is a Clinical psychologist at the Department of Correctional services. He has a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) Summa cum laude, Hons Social Science (General Psychology) Cum laude, and a Master’s in social science (Clinical Psychology) from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He has received 5 Dean’s commendations and 17 merit certificates. He is a Golden Key International Honorary Society Member (by invitation) and was a second runner of the Distinguished Student Award (2012) and Best Achiever Award receiver in the Annual Young Graduate Leaders Gala (2012). He is a committee member of the Sexuality & Gender Division, PsySSA, and the LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Project. He is also a member of the core committee that is reviewing the Psychological Procedure Manual for the Department of Correctional Services. Nkanyiso is currently a PhD candidate at UNISA and his research focus is sexuality and gender diversity, specifically in the carceral population.
Pierre Brouard (he/him)
Pierre is currently the Acting Director of the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G) at the University of Pretoria (UP) and a registered Clinical Psychologist, with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has worked in HIV since the mid 1980’s (initially as a volunteer) and at the Centre since 2001. His interests and work include sexualities, gender, human rights, stigma, governance, leadership, accountability, transformation, diversity and social justice. Pierre is on the Executive of the Sexuality and Gender Division of PsySSA and a board member of the Professional Association of Transgender Health South Africa.
Nkateko Ndala-Magoro is a registered Counselling Psychologist. She is the CEO of Wellifeinc* www.wellifeinc.com (*trading as Pretoria Psychologists). In collaboration with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Wellifeinc conducts free monthly support groups 1st Wednesday of every month, as well as offer #Monday Re Tsene with Pretoria Psychologists series through YouTube and Facebook to have a greater reach to the community with psychological advice and service. Her over 20 years’ experience in facilitating, coaching and lecturing in various platforms both locally and internationally, adds to the excellent, skilful and insightful presenter on topics of Wellbeing, Mental Health, Leadership, and Personal development. Nkateko has been featured a number of times on various SABC and DSTV talk shows and current affairs on mental health matters, as well as giving regular expert opinion on radio and magazines. Nkateko has produced a number of technical reports and publications in academic journals emanating from collaborative research both in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interests include pre-marital, relationship and marriage counselling, parental guidance, HIV/AIDS counselling, information and management of families living with HIV/AIDS, bereavement, effects of childhood/adult sexual and physical abuse, trauma, work and home/family related stress and anxiety disorders