No woman sued perpetrators of domestic violence at the court of chief judicial magistrates in keeping with the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, in 10 years after enactment of the law.
This was informed at a virtual roundtable titled ‘Domestic violence: The Context of Justice and Legal Solutions’ on Wednesday in observance of '16 Days of Activism’, said a press release.
Those women refrained from taking legal course under the mentioned law, was known through a study commissioned by ActionAid Bangladesh in October 2020, and led by Dhaka University Law Department Faculty Taslima Yasmin.
“The key difficulties in implementing this act were lack of awareness among potential beneficiaries and law enforcing agencies,” she said, adding that both the survivors and lawyers generally prefer “more straight forward penal sections” in the law.
Ms Taslima Yasmin mentioned that there are instances of under-reporting of abuses by the victims of domestic violence until it reaches a severe form of physical torture.
Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Nasima Begum stated that violence against women will never come to an end if women themselves compromise and are not conscious. "Many of them don't want to file a case thinking about family honour," she told the discussion jointly organised by ActionAid and Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
Aroma Dutta, a member of parliament, said every district needs to have a branch of the Human Rights Commission.
Underlining the importance of providing training to law enforcement personnel, Supreme Court lawyer Sara Hossain said it is also essential to provide training to field workers and various organisations and reach basic information at doorsteps of the victims about the law.
Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, explained that the study was conducted to look into the effectiveness of the aforesaid law.
She sought legal experts' recommendations to make the law more effective and mentioned that there should be extensive initiatives relating to education and training on enforcement of the act.