Publications by Type: Journal Article

Still a Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan. UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

"Implementation of the Elimination of Violence against Women law in Afghanistan, December 2012"

Periodic evaluation of progress on implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women, reinforced in the June 2012 Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, is imperative in view of the widespread occurrence of violence against women in Afghanistan and resistance to women’s rights at various levels of Afghan society. Harmful practices and violence against women in Afghanistan have long prevented women from participating in public life and blocked their voices from being heard in decision-making and political forums. Progress in implementing the EVAW law can contribute to enabling women to play a meaningful and crucial role in the country’s current peace and reconciliation processes. The United Nations has repeatedly stressed the imperative of ensuring equal participation of women and their full involvement in all efforts to achieve durable peace and security, and the need to increase women’s role in decision-making and in conflict prevention and resolution.

This report examines implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW law) by judicial and law enforcement officials for the period October 2011 to September 2012 and identifies the many challenges Afghan women still face in accessing justice. The analysis is based on information gathered from 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and highlights the reporting, registration and judicial process followed under the EVAW law and the Penal Code by the Afghan National Police (ANP), prosecutor’s offices and primary courts in a representative sample of violence against women incidents. From 16 provinces, UNAMA gathered and analyzed more detailed data from police, prosecutors and courts on cases processed using the EVAW law. The report also highlights the crucial role and work of provincial departments of women’s affairs and commissions on elimination of violence against women. This report updates earlier findings on the law’s implementation in UNAMA’s November 2011 report A Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Elimination of Violence against Women Law in Afghanistan.


Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Belem do Para Convention. Organization of American States. 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Second Hemispheric Report on on the Implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI, 2012)

The Second Hemispheric Report reviews the progress made by the States Party in their implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention, as well as the significant challenges that remain in the region in terms of a timely, appropriate and effective response to acts of violence against women, from a perspective of human rights.

The Report consolidates the results and recommendations from the 28 national reports presented to the MESECVI during the Second Multilaterial Evaluation Round, and offers a comparative overview of the progress made between the First and Second Rounds.

WHO Intimate Partner Violence Overview. WHO. 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

WHO and PAHO have developed a series of information sheets on violence against women that summarizes what is known about the prevalence, patterns, consequences, risk factors and strategies to address the different forms of VAW. This series is for programme managers, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and others working in a wide range of sectors and in every country.

ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 2012. Publisher's VersionAbstract

WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;

REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;

REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;

CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process.

Arfaoui DK. Women on the Move for Gender Equality in the Maghreb. Feminisms, Democritization, and Radical Democracy . 2011 :85-115.Abstract

This research paper intends to analyze the impact on their society at large of democratization of women’s roles at home and at the workplace. Because it is important to know the past in order to understand the present, the status of women in the Maghreb countries in the pre-independence era will be presented. But the major part of the research will begin in the 1980s with the early autonomous feminist wave and continues until the present: the first decade of the 2000s.

Several international instruments have provided for women’s equality, but it was at the 1993 Vienna Conference that women’s rights became an integral part of human rights, highlighting the issue of violence against women. However, in spite of progress since then, in particular during the last few decades, women are still far from having reached the equality they have been striving for. Increased information being transmitted via the media, but also via the work done by female activists, together with increased education have led to sweeping social changes, creating awareness among women. As a result, women are increasingly breaking the taboos that used to keep them silent and submissive and are asking for help at the centers ready to aid them find solutions to their problems of violence.

Roy D. An Introduction to Forced Marriage in the South Asian Community in the United States. manavi. 2011;(9). Publisher's VersionAbstract

The practice of Forced Marriage, where one or both persons involved are coerced through pressure or abuse to consent to a marriage against their will, has been widely addressed in places such as the United Kingdom, but it has only recently begun to enter the framework of women’s rights advocacy work here in the United States. I am an Advocate at Manavi, a New Jersey-based South Asian1 women’s rights organization (SAWO) who has been trained on the issue of forced marriage in the UK. In this position, I have observed that in the US we are only beginning to understand what this practice is, what populations it affects, how prevalent it is and how we can effectively respond to this form of violence against women and girls so as to ensure the safety and well-being of those subjected to it. In June 2010, for the purposes of this paper, I conducted a 10-question web-based survey amongst frontline advocates at 25 SAWOs across the US. The responses I received from the survey, in addition to the cases emerging through Manavi’s advocacy work, con rms that forced marriages are happening in South Asian communities in the US. As frontline, grassroots advocates and activists in the South Asian community, we have witnessed a recent increase in reported cases even though this harmful traditional practice has been happening for many years. 

Sullivan CM. Evaluating domestic violence support service programs: Waste of time, necessary evil, or opportunity for growth?. Aggression and Violent Behavior . 2011;16 (4) :354-360. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

More and more funders of non-profit organizations are mandating that grantees engage in outcome evaluation. Given that this mandate is rarely accompanied by additional funding to devote to such efforts, as well as the limited skills many staff have in conducting outcome evaluation, this has been a significant hardship for human service programs. Domestic violence victim service programs have additional barriers to evaluating service effectiveness, including: (1) each survivor1 comes to the program with different needs and life circumstances; (2) there is debate about which ‘outcomes’ are appropriate for these programs to accomplish; (3) many service clients are anonymous or engage in very short-term services; and (4) surveying survivors can compromise their safety or comfort. Some programs, therefore, resist evaluating their services (which can compromise their funding) while others engage in evaluations that can compromise their integrity or values. Others, however, see outcome evaluation as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Evidence is provided that, if done appropriately and sensitively, outcome evaluation can be incorporated into ongoing staff activities, can provide evidence for program effectiveness, and can improve services for survivors of intimate partner abuse.

Teitelman A, Ratcliffe SJ, Sullivan CM, McDonald CC, Brawner BM. Relationships Between Physical and Non-Physical Forms of Intimate Partner Violence and Depression among Urban Minority Adolescent Females. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 2011;16 (2) :92-100. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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


Little is known about intimate partner violence (IPV) and depression among low income, urban African American and Hispanic adolescent females.


Interviews with 102 urban African American and Hispanic adolescent females examined physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, and threats, and their unique and combined associations with depression.


One-quarter of the sample experienced all three types of abuse. Non-physical forms of IPV were significantly associated with depression.


Some urban adolescent females from lower income households experience high rates of IPV. Physical and non-physical forms of IPV are important in understanding and responding to depression in this population.

Beeble ML, Sullivan CM, Bybee D. The impact of neighborhood factors on the well-being of survivors of intimate partner violence over time. American Journal of Community Psychology . 2011;47 (3-4) :287-306. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive social problem impacting the psychological well-being of millions of US women annually. The extant literature draws our attention to the devastating mental health effects of IPV, but largely overlooks how ecological factors may further explain survivors' well-being. This study examined how neighborhood disadvantage may contribute to survivors' compromised well-being, in addition to the abuse women experienced. Neighborhood disorder and fear of victimization significantly impacted survivors' well-being, over and above abuse. Although between-women effects of neighborhood disorder and fear were unrelated to change in women's depression or quality of life (QOL), significant within-woman effects were detected. Change in neighborhood disorder was negatively associated with change in QOL, and this relationship was fully mediated by fear. While no direct relationship between change in neighborhood disorder and depression was detected, an indirect effect through survivors' fear was revealed. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Yerima TF. Comparative Evaluation of the Challenges of African Regional Human Rights Courts. Journal of Politics and Law . 2011;4 (2) :120-127. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Recent developments in Africa have witnessed the establishment of African Court of Human Rights and African Court of Justice; and the eventual merger of the two Courts as the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The Courts were established to compliment the protective mandate of African Commission on Human Rights. The establishment of African Human Rights Courts has catapulted scholars into considering whether the option is better for African human rights system or whether it was taken impetuously.  The question is imperative in view of the problems that besiege the African Commission. This article considers the foreseeable hurdles that the African Court of Human Rights and the merged Court are likely to face.  It points out that the African human rights system was built on a shaky foundation and suggests ways for revamping the system.

Spieler P. Contributions to the Debate on Domestic Violence Against Women in Brazil. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. 2011;18 (1) :121-143. 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 article aims to demonstrate the contributions of the Maria da Penha case and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Report of 2001 to the debate on domestic violence against women in Brazil, with special emphasis to the adoption of the Maria da Penha Law. The IACHR was the first international human rights organ to bring to light the problem. Beside contributing to internal changes, this case has great relevance as it was the first one of domestic violence analyzed by the Inter-American Commission. It revealed the systematic pattern of violence against women in the country. 

Kaufman R, Ward JAK. Using Human Rights Mechanisms of the United Nations to Advance Economic Justice. Clearinghouse REVIEW Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Article located at the bottom of the page of the given link

Taken from the intro: Building upon previous Clearinghouse Review articles and several appearing in this issue, we draw a primer on the U.N. human rights system as a means of complementing domestic advocacy efforts on behalf of low-income and poor communities and individuals. First, we give an overview of the U.N. mechanisms that monitor and promote human rights compliance in the United States. Second, we cite examples of how social justice organization have engaged these mechanisms to broaden access to justice and deter violence against women, and we suggest opportunities for future engagement on a range of issues confronting clients of legal aid programs. 

Kiener R. Honor Killings: Can Murders of Women and Girls be Stopped?. CQ Global Researcher. 2011;5 (8) :183-208. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

Each week brings horrific new headlines stating that, somewhere around the world, a woman or girl has been killed by a male relative for allegedly bringing dishonor upon her family. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, "In the name of preserving family 'honor,' women and girls are shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered and knifed to death with horrifying regularity." Between 5,000 and 20,000 so-called honor killings are committed each year, based on long-held beliefs that any female who commits -- or is suspected of committing -- an "immoral" act should be killed to "restore honor" to her family. Honor killings are deeply rooted in ancient patriarchal and fundamentalist traditions, which some judicial systems legitimize by pardoning offenders or handing out light sentences. Human-rights organizations are demanding that governments and the international community act more forcefully to stop honor killings, but officials in some countries are doing little to protect women and girls within their borders.

Hughes P, Fleetwood R ed. Violence Against Women: Protection and Prevention Through International Law. INTERIGHTS Bulletin. 2011;16 (3). Publisher's VersionAbstract

The articles in this Bulletin draw attention to the different ways in which violence against women can manifest itself and in so doing highlight its pervasiveness and the stark failure of many states to take action to prevent it from happening. Although ‘intimate-partner’ violence and sexual coercion are the most common types of violence affecting women and girls, in many parts of the world violence can take on special characteristics depending on different cultural and historical conditions. Some of those characteristics are examined in this Bulletin including the trafficking of women, the treatment of migrant domestic workers and violence against women in situations of armed conflict.

Kennedy AC, Bybee D, Greeson M, Sullivan CM. The impact of family and community violence on children's depression trajectories: examining the interactions of violence exposure, family social support, and gender. Journal of Family Psychology. 2010;24 (2) :197-207. 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 longitudinal study used multilevel modeling to examine the relationships between witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV), community and school violence exposure (CSVE), family social support, gender, and depression over 2 years within a sample of 100 school-aged children. We found significant between-child differences in both the initial levels of depression and the trajectories of depression; depression over time was positively associated with change in witnessing IPV and CSVE and negatively associated with change in support. Two significant 3-way interactions were found: Gender and initial support, as well as gender and initial witnessing IPV, both significantly moderated the effect of change in witnessing IPV on the children's depression over time.

Deacon Z, Sullivan C. An ecological examination of rural mozambican women's attainment of postwar wellbeing. Journal of Community Psychology. 2010;38 (1) :115-130. Publisher's VersionAbstract;jsessioni...

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

Women's experiences of warfare and postwar recovery are qualitatively different from those of men. However, to date, the processes whereby women recover from the gendered impacts of war have not been sufficiently explored. In order to address this gap in the literature and to inform policies and services aimed at women recovering from warfare, a qualitative investigation was conducted of the process whereby women in one rural community in northern Mozambique attained wellbeing in the wake of war. Findings indicate that factors at all levels of the socio-ecological system were significant in supporting women's attainment of postwar wellbeing.

Campbell R, Sprague HB, Cottrill S, Sullivan CM. Longitudinal Research With Sexual Assault Survivors: A Methodological Review. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2010;26 (3) :433-461. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

Longitudinal research designs are relatively rare in the academic literature on rape and sexual assault despite their tremendous methodological rigor and scientific utility. In the interest of promoting wider use of such methods, we conducted a methodological review of projects that have used prospective longitudinal designs to study the occurrence of sexual victimization throughout the lifespan and/or the process of change during rape recovery (N = 32 projects). Five questions were examined: (a) What were the substantive foci of these longitudinal studies? (b) How were survivors recruited? (c) What participation rates were typical? (d) How long were participants followed over time and with what success rates? and (e) What incentives were used to increase participation? Most studies focused on postassault sequelae and recruited survivors from hospital emergency departments and other first-response help-seeking sites with highly variable participation rates. Retention rates were comparable across studies (approximately 70%).

Hasselbacher L. State Obligations Regarding Domestic Violence: The European Court of Human Rights, Due Diligence, And International Legal Minimums of Protection. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights. 2010;8 (2). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Over the last two decades, international human rights instruments, decisions, and dedicated advocates have advanced the understanding of domestic violence. Once considered a private act committed with widespread impunity, domestic violence is now viewed as a human rights violation that states have a responsibility to address. This article will trace the history of this progression and the emergence of a "due diligence" standard to assess a state's response to domestic violence. The first half of the article will examine the recognition of the due diligence standard as a rule of customary international law with increasingly defined state obligations. The second half of the article will analyze the evolution of the due diligence standard within the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the application of the standard in two landmark cases, and both cases held national governments responsible for failing to exercise due diligence to adequately protect individuals from domestic violence. The decisions in these cases not only affirm the use of the due diligence standard as a tool for assessment, but also they begin to clarify the practical obligations of protecting victims from domestic violence as well as preventing, investigating, and prosecuting such violence. In particular, the ECHR highlights the need for enforceable measures of protection and a legislative framework that enables criminal prosecutions of domestic violence in the public interest. Furthermore, the article will analyze the decision in, and the Court's recognition that, a State's obligation to exercise due diligence to protect women against domestic violence is gender-based discrimination, violating women's right to equal protection of the law.

Killander M. Interpreting Regional Human Rights Treaties. Social Science Research Network. 2010;(13) :145-169. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Whether included in national bills of rights or regional or global human rights treaties, human rights are often vague. They require interpretation. The article illustrates how regional human rights tribunals have largely followed the rules for treaty interpretation set out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In the interpretation of rights and their limitations the European Court has traditionally put greater emphasis on regional consensus than the Inter-American Court and the African Commission which often look outside their continents to treaties and soft law of the UN and the jurisprudence of other regional tribunals. However, there is a trend towards universalism also in the jurisprudence of the European Court. The article illustrates that the reasoning of the regional tribunals is sometimes inadequate. The quality of the reasoning of the tribunals is important as it provides states and individuals with predictability so that action can be taken to avoid human rights violations. Good reasoning may also help to achieve compliance with the decisions and societal acceptance on controversial issues.

Barrow A. UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820: constructing gender in armed conflict and international humanitarian law. International Review of the Red Cross. 2010;92 (877) :221-234. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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

While the Geneva Conventions contain gender-specific provisions, the reality of women’s and men’s experiences of armed conflict have highlighted gender limitations and conceptual constraints within international humanitarian law. Judgements at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) ad hoc tribunals have gone some way towards expanding the scope of definitions of sexual violence and rape in conflict. More recent developments in public international law, including the adoption of Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 focused on women, peace and security, have sought to increase the visibility of gender in situations of armed conflict. This paper highlights important developing norms on women, peace and security. Although these norms are significant, they may not be radical enough to expand constructions of gender within international humanitarian law. This leaves existing provisions open to continued scrutiny.