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Domestic Violence     auf Deutsch

Unremedied domestic violence essentially denies women equality before the law and reinforces their subordinate social status. Men use domestic violence to diminish women’s autonomy and sense of self-worth. States that fail to prevent and prosecute domestic violence treat women as second-class citizens and send a clear message that the violence against them is of no concern to the broader society. Countries as diverse as Uganda, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Jordan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Peru have one thing in common: horrendous records on addressing domestic violence. In Uganda, many women are infected with HIV and will eventually die because the government has failed in any meaningful way to condemn, criminalize, or prosecute violence against women in the home. In Pakistan, officials at all levels of the criminal justice system believe domestic violence is not a matter for criminal courts. In South Africa, the police and courts treat complaints by battered women as less serious than other assault complaints, and there are persistent problems with the provision of medical expertise to courts when women have been abused. In Jordan, “honor killings” occur when families deem women’s behavior improper, and, despite some legislative reforms, the perpetrators receive lenient sentencing before courts. In Russia and Uzbekistan, police scoff at reports of domestic violence, and harass women who report such violence to stop them from filing complaints. In Peru, despite improvements in its domestic violence legislation, the law still does not protect women from marital rape and stalking. Discriminatory attitudes of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges, who often consider domestic violence a “private” matter beyond the reach of the law, reinforce the batterer’s attempts to demean and control his victim.