Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Domestic violence - notion and regulation at international and national level.


Violence against women

Violence against women is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and consists of acts of gender-based violence that cause or may cause harm, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm to women, including threats with such threats. acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, regardless of whether the acts occur in public or private life (Article 3 of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in Istanbul).

Violence against women has its roots in the unequal power relations between women and men and in the social and cultural structures that lead to the subordination status of women in both the private and public spheres. Prejudices, customs, traditions or other practices based on the erroneous notion that women are inferior or on gender role stereotypes, serve to perpetuate violence against women, as the main reason behind violence is the sex of the victim.

European case law has also emphasized that any measures taken to prevent and combat violence against women must promote equality between women and men and that only substantial equality will prevent such violence in the future.

The various manifestations of violence against women regulated by the Istanbul Convention (Romania signed the Istanbul Convention in June 2014 and ratified it in 2016, the Convention entering into force in September 2016) are: psychological violence, taxation, physical violence, sexual violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion and sexual harassment.


Domestic violence

Domestic violence refers to all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that disproportionately affect women, but not only women. The term covers intimate partner violence between current or former spouses or partners, as well as inter-generational violence, for example between parents and their children. Domestic violence is one of the most serious and pervasive forms of violence.

Although the term "domestic" may seem to limit its application to acts that take place in a household, it is recognized that violence often occurs between intimate partners, couples who meet and do not necessarily live together. Therefore, a common residence is not necessary for domestic violence to occur.

The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights has played an important role in shaping and strengthening the international framework on violence against women. The case law of the Court illustrates various ways in which the member states of the Council of Europe have failed to prevent, investigate / investigate and carefully sanction acts of violence affecting women and domestic violence.

In view of the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, the obligations of the State in relation to violence against women stem from rights such as:


1. the right to life (Article 2);

2. prohibition of torture (Article 3);

3. the right to respect for private and family life (art. 8);

4. prohibition of discrimination (Article 14).


Impact cases in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights


In the 2009 Opuz v. Turkey case, the Court held that domestic violence is a form of gender-based violence and constitutes a form of discrimination, with Turkey failing to establish and implement a system for punishing domestic violence and protecting victims.

In the present case, the applicant claimed that the Turkish authorities had failed to protect the right to life of her mother, who had been killed by the applicant's husband.

With one exception, no criminal proceedings were instituted against the husband on the grounds that both women withdrew their complaints, despite the explanations they later gave, namely that the husband had harassed them in this regard, threatening them. them with their killing.

The Court found a violation of Article 2 of the ECHR Convention (right to life) regarding the applicant's mother, Article 3 of the Convention (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), but also a violation of Article 14 of the Convention (prohibition of discrimination) , in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3.

For the first time in a case of domestic violence, the Court has ruled that gender-based violence is a form of discrimination because it mainly affects women and women have not been protected by law on an equal footing with men.

Since the national authorities abandoned the proceedings in order to avoid intervening in what they considered to be a 'family matter', without taking into account the reasons behind the withdrawal of the complainant's complaint

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