Eliminating Domestic Violence is a Must
September 25, 2012
By Karima el Kadaoui
Discussing domestic violence in Morocco has always been taboo. It is one of those
things that everyone knows happens, but we do not talk about it. Women
suffer in silence without letting anyone know how they feel. That is
what our society want us to do. We should wear masks and act as if
everything is nice.
After a long road full of obstacles, things have changed a bit.
Associations formed to break the silence of domestic violence and give
women the opportunity to talk about the problem as well as step out of
the vicious circle they are trapped in.
Since 2007, Advocates for Human Rights and Global Rights have been
working in partnership with Moroccan Non Governmental Organizations to
provide legal protection victims of domestic violence. This law will be a big step, not only for Morocco, but for Arab countries as well.
In 2011, they conducted a national study entitled “Challenges with addressing
domestic violence in compliance with the Convention Against Torture”. It showed that 8 percent of Moroccan women between 18 and 64 years old were victims of all kinds of violence. The same study showed that husbands were responsible for 55% of the violence.
Last year, Morocco’s new constitution granted NGOs the power to assert
the rights and freedom of women. The new law seeks to fight violence against women, guarantee the
rights of both genders and the fight against all kinds of discrimination.
But we all know that there is a difference between what the law says
and the reality.
According to NGO’s working on domestic violence cases, when a woman decides to seek help from the police, she has to wait a long time to be questioned about the incident. Additionally police officers question women in a sarcastic and demeaning manner. Instead of being protected, women feel as if they deserve to be abused.
If we want to eliminate domestic violence, we need to change the whole
legal system and people’s perception and mentality toward domestic
violence. Some people in Morocco still say:” There are women who can’t
understand what is said to them, unless they are beaten. “
We still have a long way to go when it comes to eliminating domestic violence.
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