Understanding Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence refers to any form of violence that transpires within a domestic setting, It is not necessary that it must take place within a household – the term is wide enough to encompass violence meted out within a family.

What forms can it take?
Domestic violence manifests itself in many forms. It can be psychological, social, financial, physical or sexual.
-Psychological violence can include blackmail, coercion or inducement of fear.
-Social violence can include public humiliation, isolation and confinement against one’s will.
-Physical abuse includes beating, hitting, pushing – or any physical assault or battery.
-Sexual violence can range from rape and harassment to harming sexual organs. In some communities, Domestic Violence can take the form of honour killings, dowry harassment and even acid attacks.

What Laws govern Domestic Violence in International Law?
The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, or the CEDAW, deals with Domestic Violence.
-Article 2 speaks of comprehensive state obligation to eliminate discrimination against women.
- Article 5 speaks of the elimination of prejudices and practices, based on the stereotyped roles of women and men.
- Article 16 elaborates on the elimination of discrimination against women in marriage and family relations: equality of women and men, same rights and responsibilities.

In the Media

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