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Closed doors...
End of domestic violence?

Over the past few decades, the laws regarding domestic violence have grown from being mere laws to providing safety for victims. Many countries have seen a surge in deployment of special and dedicated teams of police, advocates, courts and experts; thus making the fight against domestic violence a priority. However, prosecution of repeated violators is not being handled properly.

Talking in terms of numbers, domestic violence has seen a rise, during the last decade, especially in the ‘developed’ western countries. Moreover, along with cases of domestic violence against women, even issues regarding domestic violence towards men have surfaced. Between 1989 and 2004, around 9000 men died in domestic violence. Many international bodies under the aegis of UNICEF, like ‘The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women’, ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’, and ‘the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth International Conference on Women’, are trying to fight this social malaise at their level. But the progress seems to be snail-paced due to lack of effective mechanisms at a global level. A WHO multi-country study reflects, “Between 10% & 52% of women reported being physically abused by an intimate partner... between 10% & 30% said they had experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner. Between 10% & 27% of women and girls reported having been sexually abused...” Even today, many African and Asian countries (like Angola, Nigeria & Bangladesh) don’t have laws safeguarding women from domestic violence. Only a few third world countries (like Hong Kong) have adopted laws on same-sex domestic violence while most third world countries are yet to accept the existence of such relationships.

With the battle not even half won, the fight against this problem will be a prominent issue at all socio-global forums in 2010. With an increasing number of women entering political and economic chambers, we should hopefully see some progress this year.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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