Core elements of legislation on domestic violence

The following elements should be established as the core elements of any domestic violence law:

  • Criminalization of acts of domestic violence;
  • A fully developed protection order civil remedy, including an emergency or ex parte order for protection order;
  • Prohibition of perpetrators from possessing a firearm; 
  • Allowing courts, in protection orders, to at least temporarily order child custody and support to the non-violent parent;
  • Allowing courts to enter protection orders for children;
  • Statements of rights of complainant/survivors and services available to them;
  • Provisions on implementation of the law, including training of relevant professionals, monitoring and evaluation of the law, and funding of the implementation of the law;
  • A criminal offense for violation of the protection order with a cross-reference to any relevant provisions of the criminal laws, such as punishment for various level of offenses;
  • Enhanced penalties for multiple violations of the protection order;
  • Enhanced penalties for other domestic violence-related criminal offenses. ; and

Establishment of an inter-agency task force to ensure a coordinated community response to domestic violence.

(See: Drafting Domestic Violence Laws, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights)