Family Violence

Gosselin DK. Heavy Hands: An Introduction to the Crimes of Intimate and Family Violence, 5/E. Prentice Hall; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

Heavy Hands, Fifth Edition, provides an authentic introduction to the crimes of family violence, covering offenders and offenses, impact on victims, and responses of the criminal justice system. This established text is essential reading for those considering careers in criminal justice, victim advocacy, social work, and counseling. Gosselin draws on extensive field experience and uses real-life examples to provide sharp insight into how and why abuse occurs and its effects on abuse survivors. The text’s accessible language and effective learning tools keep students engaged and motivated, while its practical, real-world focus helps students connect text material to the world around them. 

American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence Report to the House of Delegates. American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Condemns forced marriage as a fundamental human rights violation and form of family violence and of violence against women and urges governments to amend existing laws or enact new laws to prevent, protect and support individuals threatened by forced marriages.

Women's Lives and Challenges: Equality and Empowerment since 2000. United States Agency for International Development [Internet]. 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This report, among the most extensive recent assessments of women’s status, looks at women’s progress in four continents and more than 45 countries.  Women’s Lives and Challenges evaluates trends in women’s employment, domestic decision-making, exposure to violence, and access to education and health care. 

Eslick N. Violence against Women in Australia and The National Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, in Initiative on VAW, Research Briefing. Carr Center for Human Rights, Harvard Kennedy School of Government ; 2014.Abstract

Violence against Women (VAW) is a pervasive, global human rights violation. This research memo discusses the current state of VAW in Australia, and the Australian Governments proposed National Action Plan (NAP) addressing VAW across Australia’s diverse community. Noting that women’s rights are not fully protected by the Commonwealth and revealing the current appalling statistics around domestic and sexual violence against Australian women, the memo then provides insight on Indigenous women and VAW, followed by a deeper look at NAP. Finally, after a brief look at the recent study tour of Australia by the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Australia’s commitment to addressing VAW is discussed with reference to reporting for CEDAW and UPR. The memo then considers the Special Rapporteur’s study tour in light of the election of a new federal government. It then concludes that if the state shows genuine commitment to its people, and to its obligations under human rights treaties, the onus ultimately rests on it to work with civil society to make use of the human rights mechanisms and seek to honestly and with purpose examine their human rights status and develop and adopt sustainable positive change. 

UN survey of 10,000 men in Asia and the Pacific reveals why some men use violence against women and girls. United Nations Development Programme [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A UN study of 10,000 men in Asia and the Pacific, released today, found that overall nearly half of those men interviewed reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner, ranging from 26 percent to 80 percent across the sites studied.  Nearly a quarter of men interviewed reported perpetrating rape against a woman or girl, ranging from 10 percent to 62 percent across the sites.  

Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Handbook serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.

The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women.

This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

Regional Overview for the Middle East and North Africa, MENA Gender Equality Profile. UNICEF; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To view this report, please click the document "Regional Overview for the Middle East and North Africa."

In 2011 the Middle East and North African Regional Office (MENARO) developed Gender Equality Profiles for all the countries in the MENA Region. The objective of the MENA gender equality profiles is to provide user-friendly, summary information on the status and situation of girls and women for all countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

“He Loves You, He Beats You” - Family Violence in Turkey and Access to Protection. Human Rights Watch; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This report documents brutal and long-lasting violence against women and girls by husbands, partners, and family members and the survivors’ struggle to seek protection. Turkey has strong protection laws, setting out requirements for shelters for abused women and protection orders. However, gaps in the law and implementation failures by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials make the protection system unpredictable at best, and at times downright dangerous.

Violence against women in Australia: Research summary. State Government of Victoria; 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This publication presents a synopsis of the latest published research examining violence against women in Australia and its prevention. This summary focuses on: 

  • the extent of violence against women 
  • population groups at risk 
  • the health, economic and other consequences of the problem 
  • factors that underlie and contribute to violence against women 
  • themes for action to prevent violence against women from happening in the first place.
Family Violence - A National Legal Response (ALRC 114 Summary). Australian Law Reform Commission [Internet]. 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This 76-page Summary Report provides an accessible overview of the policy framework and recommendations in the two-volume Final Report, Family Violence - A National Legal Response (ALRC Report 114).

It offers a consideration of the framework for the reform, including a description of the development of the key principles underpinning the 187 final recommendations. The recommendations are then considered as an expression of two principal themes—improving legal frameworks and improving practice, concluding with a summary of the net effect of the recommendations.

Tashkandi A, Rasheed FP. Wife abuse: a hidden problem. A study among Saudi women attending PHC centres. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal [Internet]. 2010;15 (5) :1242-1253. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to measure the prevalence, severity and type of wife abuse experienced by ever-married women attending primary health centres in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Women were interviewed in private at health centres using a questionnaire which included items from the Modified Conflict Tactic Scale, Kansas Marital Scale and the lie scale of the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory.

Of 689 eligible women, 25.7% reported physical abuse and 32.8% emotional abuse without physical violence. Of those physically abused, 36.7% suffered minor and 63.3% severe incidents. The lifetime prevalence of abuse among the women was 57.7%. Only 36.7% of 109 abused women had informed and discussed the issue with their primary care physician.

Family Violence - A National Legal Response (ALRC Report 114). Australian Law Reform Commission; 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This Summary Report provides an accessible overview of the policy framework and recommendations in the two-volume Final Report in the Inquiry into family violence by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission (the Commissions). The full Report sets out in detail the issues raised by the Terms of Reference, and the research and evidence base upon which the Commissions’ recommendations were formulated, including a thorough discussion of stakeholder views and the Commissions’ conclusions.

This Summary Report begins with a snapshot of the context for the Inquiry, including the background to the Terms of Reference. This is followed by a consideration of the framework for the reform, including a description of the development of the key principles underpinning the 187 final recommendations put forward by the Commissions. The recommendations are then considered as an expression of two principal themes—improving legal frameworks and improving practice, concluding with a summary of the net effect of the recommendations.

Mattar M. Access to International Criminal Justice for Victims of Violence Against Women Under International Family Law. Protection Project [Internet]. 2009;23 :141-166. Publisher's VersionAbstract


I am delighted to be here at this very special event celebrating 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). I would like to share with you some of the most important recent developments in the anti- trafficking movement and the violence against women movement as linked to developments in international family law since the passage of the UDHR. In doing so, I would like to focus on two main developments: (1) at the substantive level—the expansion of the concept of human trafficking itself, originally limited to prostitution, to include the institution of marriage; and (2) at the procedural level—allowing victims of trafficking access to the international justice system as victims of a form of violence against women. Mohamed Y. Mattar

Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Explanatory Report). Council of Europe [Internet]. 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

I. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took note of this Explanatory Report at its 1002nd meeting held at its Deputies' level, on 12 July 2007. The Convention was opened for signature in Lanzarote (Spain), on 25 October 2007, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of European Ministers of Justice.

II. The text of this explanatory report does not constitute an instrument providing an authoritative interpretation of the Convention, although it might be of such a nature as to facilitate the application of the provisions contained therein.

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.” 

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.

In-depth study on all forms of violence against women: Report of the Secretary-General. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; 2006. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The study:

  • gives an overview of the historical overview of the development of international awareness and action on male violence against women (section II); 
  • sets out the broad context within which violence against women occurs and persists (section III);
  • synthesizes the knowledge regarding the extent and prevalence of different forms and manifestations of violence against women, in the main settings: that is, within the family, the community, and perpetrated or condoned by the State, including in conflict settings; and reviews the consequences of such violence, including its costs of forms and manifestations of violence against women and its consequences, including costs (section IV);
  • discusses the gaps and challenges in the availability of data, including in methodologies for assessing the prevalence of different forms of violence (section V);
  • highlights the responsibilities of States to address and prevent violence against women (section VI);
  • gives examples of promising practices in the areas of law, service provision and prevention (section VII); and
  • puts forward a blueprint for action by all stakeholders—by States, at the national level, and by intergovernmental bodies and UN entities—to make measurable progress in preventing and eliminating violence against women (section VIII).
Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, No.34. Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka [Internet]. 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.

Sagot M. The Critical Path of Women Affected by Family Violence in Latin America: Case Studies From 10 Countries. Violence Against Women [Internet]. 2005;11 :1292-1318. 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 research examined the critical path followed by women from 10 Latin American countries who suffer family violence. It identified the personal and social processes women experience as a result of their help-seeking actions and the kinds of responses found at local services. The study used an action-oriented qualitative methodology with a standard research protocol that was translated and adapted for the various ethnic groups. The results provided community actors with an understanding of the barriers women face in overcoming the obstacles, humiliation, and inadequate responses they encounter along their critical paths.

Shrader E, Sagot M. Domestic Violence: Women's Way Out. Pan American Health Organization; 2000. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Regional Program on Women, Health, and Development (HDW) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), with support from Norway and Sweden coordinated the development of the research protocol Domestic Violence: Women's Way Out, in the framework of the HDW Program's subregional project Strengthening and Organization of Women and Coordinated Action between the State and Civil Society at the Local Level to Prevent and Address Family Violence.