Rahila Gupta argues that the term ‘victim’ needs to be reclaimed by feminist politics; whilst 'survivor' is important because it recognises the agency of women, it focuses on individual capacity, but the notion of 'victim' reminds us of the stranglehold of the system.
In Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found, inter alia, that the United States violated a woman's right to equality and non-discrimination under Article II of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.' The Commission found that the existing legal framework in the United States does not meet international human rights standards, particularly with regard to women from minority and low-income groups. It stressed that international law requires states to act with "due diligence" to protect women from domestic violence. Moreover, the Commission recognized that because domestic violence is one of the most pervasive and pernicious forms of gender-based violence, states should adopt special measures to protect at-risk groups, including young women. It urged the United States to enact laws to make the enforcement of protective orders mandatory and "to create effective implementation mechanisms . . . accompanied by adequate resources destined to foster their implementation" and "training programs" for law enforcement and judicial officials.