Violence against women continues unabated around the world. Wives get beaten, young girls get raped and young women aspiring to work abroad end up as victims of human trafficking and abused by foreign employers. They suffer trauma in all aspects of their being (emotional, physical, social and economic) for the long term. This is the stark reality and a major problem which governments should prioritize.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 35 percent of violence against women cases involve an intimate partner and sexual violence with a non-partner. Worldwide, some 38 percent of murders involving women are done by an intimate partner while 30 percent of women who had been in a relationship claimed they experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner.

Among children, the WHO revealed that an estimated 10 million of them are exposed to domestic violence on a daily basis.

Laws on Domestic Violence

“Governments worldwide have implemented laws addressing the problem of domestic violence in their respective jurisdictions. In the U.S., for instance, Congress has passed two laws covering violence against women,” said a Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney. “These are the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.”

In the U.K. where an estimated 1.2 million women experience some form of domestic abuse each year, an existing Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 is in place. In fact, a new law was passed early this year known as the Serious Crime Bill. With the passage of this law, the coercive or controlling behavior against an intimate partner or family member is now considered a crime.

In the Asia Pacific region, however, half of all nations in South Asia and 60 percent of countries in the pacific still have no laws against domestic violence. According to UN Women, Asia and the Pacific have one of the highest rates of gender-based violence worldwide with most cases taking place in a single home and the spouse or an intimate partner is the perpetrator.

On an international level, the United Nations General Assembly has issued numerous resolutions relating to violence against women. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) passed in 1948 remains in existence as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which was passed in 1966. In addition, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was implemented in 1981 and condemns discrimination against women in all forms.

In the 1990s, the General Comment No. 19 by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1992) and the Declaration of Elimination of Violence Against Women (1993) were also passed.

The role of private organizations in this subject matter should not be taken for granted. Among them are the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Equality Now and Futures Without Violence. Despite not having a huge budget, they are strongly taking action to prevent violence against women in many parts of the world. They provide shelter and emotional support to victims and continue to fight for justice.

Human rights experts, for their part, stressed that to reduce, if not eliminate, domestic violence cases against women, laws must be strongly implemented while governments should sustain efforts to improve women’s representation at all levels and provide immediate help to victims.