Domestic Violence

Basu A. Harmful practices against women in India: An examination of selected legislative responses. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

"Harmful practices against women in India: An examination of selected legislative responses"

Violence against women, of which harmful practices against women is a part, has been acknowledged as “one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men” equality rights. Women face violence due to their position of inequality; their vulnerability to violence being exacerbated due to their positions of dependency as well as prevailing patriarchal attitudes. The Indian Constitution guarantees women equality before the law and the equal protection of laws under Article 14 and prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex under Article 15. A unique feature of the Indian Constitution is Article 15(3), which empowers the State to take special measures for women and children. Despite these guarantees, the position of women in India remains unequal.

Zhang L. Domestic violence network in China: Translating the transnational concept of violence against women into local action. Women's Studies International Forum; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*This full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

Domestic Violence Network (DVN) is a Chinese women's NGO that has emerged in response to the transnational women's human rights movement against violence against women. This article discusses and analyzes the socio-political processes of DVN's “translation” of the transnational issue frame of “violence against women” in its local programs. It reviews DVN's gender and human rights advocacy across three of its major areas of activism—research, gender training and legal advocacy. Moreover, it examines how DVN collaborates with state agencies, especially the governmental women's organization, to transform its advocacy into policy action. In particular, the article raises questions about the potential costs of this “politics of engagement,” arguing that this relationship with the state may dilute DVN's gender and human rights advocacy as well as curb its political autonomy in future activities.

Jansen HAFM, Johansson-Fua S’ula, Hafoka-Blake B, ‘Ilolahia GR. National Study on Domestic Violence against Women in Tonga 2009: Nofo 'A Kainga. Ma'a Fafine mo e Famili; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The National Study on Domestic Violence against Women in Tonga was initiated and conducted by Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili (MFF). It is the first national study on violence against women ever conducted in Tonga.

The National Study on Domestic Violence against Women in Tonga consisted of two separate components: a quantitative study based on the methodology developed for the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women; and a qualitative study based on Tongan methodology of Talanoa and Nofo. The use of qualitative and quantitative components was to seek results that complemented each other.

Thursday in Black: Towards a world without rape and violence. 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Thursdays in Black Campaign has its roots in groups such as Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina, Black Sash in South Africa and the Women in Black movements in Bosnia and Israel. Thursdays in Black, as a human rights campaign, was started by the World Council of Churches during the 1980's as a peaceful protest against rape and violence - the by-products of war and conflict. The campaign focuses on ways that individuals can challenge attitudes that cause rape and violence.

United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign: Unite to End Violence Against Women. UN; 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The document can be found by clicking "Fact Sheets." 

Violence against women takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. Some types of violence, such as trafficking, cross national boundaries. Women who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other violence prevalent in society. 

Sullivan CM, Baptista I, O'halloran S, Okroj L, Morton S, Stewart CS. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Women's Refuges: A Multi‐Country Approach to Model Development. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. 2008;32 (2) :291-308. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

There is increasing pressure on domestic violence victim service programs worldwide to demonstrate the impact of their work on those using their services. Many workers within such programs are also interested in understanding more about what is and is not working well for service users. The current project was a multi‐country collaboration to design an outcome evaluation model that would be useful to domestic violence programs, easy and inexpensive to implement, and that would reflect the diverse experiences, needs, and concerns of women experiencing domestic abuse. Focusing at this initial stage on evaluating refuges, the project partners incorporated empowerment evaluation methods and feminist principles to create the model. This article presents the five phases of model development and provides preliminary findings from a pilot evaluation to demonstrate its utility. Next steps and recommendations are then discussed.

Teitelman AM, Ratcliffe SJ, Morales-Aleman MM, Sullivan CM. Sexual Relationship Power, Intimate Partner Violence, and Condom Use Among Minority Urban Girls. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2008;23 (12) :1694-1712. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

This study examined the association between sexual relationship power, intimate partner violence, and condom use among African American and Hispanic urban girls. In this sample of 56 sexually active girls, 50% did not use condoms consistently and therefore were at higher risk for acquiring HIV or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Teens who experienced more intimate partner violence had a significantly higher likelihood of inconsistent condom use and therefore a greater risk for HIV/STDs. Girls' sense of sexual control in their relationships was not directly associated with inconsistent condom use but was inversely related to verbal and emotional abuse. Interventions aimed at reducing HIV/STD risk for adolescent girls need to address patterns of dominance and control in adolescent relationships as well as multiple forms of partner violence. This suggests the need for multilevel intervention approaches that promote girls' agency and multiple ways to keep girls safe from perpetrators of partner abuse.

Beeble ML, Post LA, Sullivan C, Bybee D. Factors Related to Willingness to Help Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2008;23 (12) :1713-1729. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

Although researchers have found that survivors of intimate partner violence seek support from a multitude of sources, ranging from professionals to informal support networks, little is known about the extent to which community members reach out to help survivors. This study explored the type of support provided to survivors and various factors that relate to individuals' willingness to help. Survivors were more likely to be helped by women, younger individuals, those who strongly endorsed criminal justice interventions for perpetrators, and those who perceived intimate partner violence as a frequently occurring issue in their communities. Two additional factors were found to relate to an individual's likelihood of assisting others, including witnessing intimate partner violence as a child and prior victimization. Further research is needed in this area to explore helper, survivor, and contextual characteristics that may affect one's likelihood to offer assistance to survivors.

The Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence. Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs: Gender Equality and Anti-Trafficking Division; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Violence against women, including domestic violence, is one of the most serious forms of gender-based violations of human rights. It deprives women of their ability to enjoy fundamental freedoms and represents a serious obstacle to equality between women and men. 

Despite positive and significant achievements in policies and practices, violence against women in its various forms is still widespread at all levels of society in all Council of Europe member states.

An overview of figures for prevalence of violence against women suggests that one-fifth to one-quarter of all women have experienced physical violence at least once during their adult lives, and more than one-tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force. Secondary data analysis supports an estimate that about 12% to 15% of all women have been in a relationship of domestic abuse after the age of 16. Many more continue to suffer physical and sexual violence from former partners even after the break-up.

Final Activity Report: Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence (EG-TFV). Council of Europe. 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Council of Europe Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence (EG-TFV), was set up following a decision taken at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe held in Warsaw on 16 and 17 May 2005. The Action Plan adopted at the Summit defines future action by the Council of Europe and envisages activities to combat vio- lence against women, including domestic violence. Section II.4 of the Plan states:

“The Council of Europe will take meas- ures to combat violence against women, including domestic violence. It will set up a task force to evaluate progress at national level and establish instruments for quantifying develop- ments at pan-European level with a view to drawing up proposals for action. A pan-European campaign to combat violence against women, in- cluding domestic violence, will be pre- pared and conducted in close co- operation with other European and na- tional actors, including NGOs.”

Accordingly, eight international experts in the field of preventing and combating violence against women were appointed to the Task Force by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The Steering Committee

for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) proposed six members of the Task Force, while the Parlia- mentary Assembly and the Congress of Regional and Local Authorities of the Council of Europe proposed one member each. The appointments were made in consultation with the Committee of Ministers' Thematic Co-ordinator on Equality between Women and Men (TC-EG) and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Good practices in legislation on violence against women: Expert group meeting organized by United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Click on "Final report of the Expert Group Meeting" at the given link to access PDF

The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDAW/DESA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are convening an expert group meeting on good practices and lessons learned in regard to legislation on violence against women, to be held at the United Nations at Vienna, from 26 to 28 May 2008.

Flood M. Measures for the Assessment of Dimensions of Violence against Women: A Compendium.; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

"Measures for the assessment of dimensions of violence against women: A compendium" - 9th bullet point

This is a compendium of measures for the assessment of dimensions of violence against women. It also includes measures regarding gender and sexual norms and attitudes. However, it does not cover measures related to child abuse, child sexual abuse, or sexual harassment.

Trochu-Grasso C, Varesano O. Situation of Violence against Women and Children in Kenya: Implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Geneva: Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The purpose of this alternative report is to address specific violence against women and children, including torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, its causes and consequences.

The report draws attention to consistent violations involving torture and ill-treatment inflicted on women and children by both State officials and non-State actors. It also addresses to what extent the Kenyan Government fails to protect women and children from torture. In this respect, the present report provides the UN Committee against Torture (the Committee) with a legal and practical overview of women’s and children’s rights in Kenya in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention).

This report is based on the international legal obligations of Kenya under the Convention. In particular, it refers to the positive obligation to “take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction” and “to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” 

Goetz AM, et al. Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009: Who Answers to Women?. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009: Who Answers to Women? demonstrates that one of the most powerful constraints on realizing women's rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is a deficit of accountability to women. It, therefore, puts forth a framework to understanding accountability form a gender perspective and outlines innovative measures states and international institutions are taking to increase accountability. It focuses particularly on five areas where the need to strengthen accountability to women is urgent: politics and governance, access to public services, economic opportunities, justice, and the distribution of international assistance for development and security. 

Bettinger-Lopez C. Jessica Gonzales v. United States: An Emerging Model for Domestic Violence & Human Rights Advocacy in the United States. Harvard Human Rights Journal. 2008;21. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In 2007, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) declared in a landmark admissibility decision that it had competence to examine the human rights claims of Jessica Gonzales, a domestic violence survivor from Colorado whose three children were killed when local police failed to enforce a restraining order against her estranged husband. Jessica Gonzales v. United States marks the first time the Commission has been asked to consider the nature and extent of the U.S.'s affirmative obligations to protect individuals from private acts of violence under the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (American Declaration or Declaration). The Commission's admissibility decision rejects the U.S. State Department's position that the Declaration, which does not explicitly articulate state obligations vis a vis the rights contained therein, does not create positive governmental obligations. Instead, the decision holds the U.S. to well-established international standards on state responsibility to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, and punish human rights violations and protect and compensate victims. 

The Commission will next decide, in the merits phase of the case, whether the U.S. violated the human rights of Jessica Gonzales and her children. The merits decision, anticipated in 2008, will have profound consequences for Ms. Gonzales on a personal level. It also has the potential to expand international human rights norms and spur systemic reforms in law and policy in the U.S.

Banda DF. Project on a Mechanism to Address Laws That Discriminate Against Women. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The aim of the project was to examine the advisability of creating a new mechanism to address laws that discriminate against women. The terms of reference specified two key objectives. The first was to overview existing UN mechanisms to ascertain the extent to which they addressed the issue of discriminatory laws. This involved interviewing UN human rights and agency officials working in both Geneva and New York and also reviewing the reports and jurisprudence of human rights committees and special procedure mechanisms. The second was to try to get national data on laws that discriminate against women. This was to be done by means of a questionnaire. On the basis of the data gathered, the consultant was required to advise on whether a special mechanism addressing discriminatory laws was needed.

Rucai L, Xiaoyan X. The Drive to Curb Domestic Violence. China Today. 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

PILES of books on women's issues cover every working surface of Guo Ruixiang's office. On its wall is a poster bearing the slogan: "curb domestic violence."

Motoyama H, Yanagimoto Y, Smee S. Violations of Women's Rights in Japan. UN Committee Against Torture; 2007. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This report was designed to supplement the NGO Shadow Report on the general situation of torture in Japan, in order to ensure that women’s issues are brought to the attention of the United Nations Committee against Torture (“CAT”) in its consideration of, and response to, torture and ill-treatment in Japan, given the Government’s failure to recognize the scale and seriousness of gender-based violence. The report was presented by OMCT and AJWRC at the CAT’s 38th session held in May 2007 in Geneva.1 Torture and other manners of ill-treatment of women in Japan, including rape, domestic violence and trafficking, persist in Japanese society under silent acquiescence, open tolerance, inaction and sometimes direct involvement of state agents including: police, immigration control officers and the judiciary. Further, the Japanese State continues to fail to provide redress and remedy for the victims of such crimes, including the military sexual slavery during the Second World War. Even though several international bodies, such as the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) and the International Labour Organization (“ILO”), have made recommendations to the Japanese State, for it to address these issues in a responsible manner, it has failed to take necessary actions.

Gracia E, Herrero J. Acceptability of domestic violence against women in the European Union: a multilevel analysis. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2006. Publisher's VersionAbstract

*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.

The acceptability of domestic violence against women (DVAW) plays an important part in shaping the social environment in which the victims are embedded, which in turn may contribute either to perpetuate or to reduce the levels of DVAW in our societies. This study analyses correlates of the acceptability of DVAW in the European Union (EU).

Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, No.34. Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 2005. Publisher's VersionAbstract

An act to provide for the prevention of any act of domestic violence and for matters connected therewith or incidental in Sri Lanka.