Lack of awareness among the potential beneficiaries and the law enforcing agencies is pointed out as the key difficulty towards the implementation of the act

No cases have been filed under the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act in the last 10 years in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (CJM) in many districts of the country, including Bhola and Sherpur, according to a study commissioned by ActionAid Bangladesh in October 2020.

The information was disclosed at a virtual roundtable discussion titled “Domestic violence: The Context of Justice and Legal Solutions” on Wednesday, said a media statement.

The keynote speaker Taslima Yasmin, who also led the study, stated that the key difficulty towards the implementation of the act was lack of awareness among the potential beneficiaries and the law enforcing agencies. 

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Taslima, who is a faculty at the Department of Law in the University of Dhaka, said both the survivors and lawyers generally prefer more straight forward penal sections.

She also mentioned about the under reporting of abuses from the victims of domestic violence until it reaches to a severe form of physical torture.

Nasima Begum, chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said violence against women will never end if women keep compromising and are not conscious. 

“Many of them don’t want to file a case thinking about family honour,” added Nasima Begum.

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Member of the Parliament Aroma Dutta said each ministry has a standing committee and it is possible to prevent violence against women by working with development agencies, including collaboration with civil society.

Supreme Court lawyer Sara Hossain said in addition to amending the Domestic Violence Act, it is important to provide training to law enforcing agencies.

Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, sought recommendations from legal experts to make the law more effective, mentioning that there should be extensive initiatives in education and training on the Domestic Violence Act.

The virtual roundtable was jointly organised by ActionAid Bangladesh and Daily Prothom Alo to mark the “16 Days of Activism”.

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ActionAid Bangladesh is observing the campaign under with the theme of “Stop Violence Against Women, Now!”

The campaign runs every year from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, the Human Rights Day.

Among others, Research Initiatives Bangladesh Executive Director Meghna Guhathakurta, Sabalamby Unnayan Samity Manager Kohinoor Begum, Journalist Shahnaz Munni, and Special Police Super of Criminal Investigation Department Rumana Akter also spoke at the roundtable.

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