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Compensation

Drafters should take steps to address the issue of compensation. Laws should allow criminal sentences to include an order of compensation and restitution from the perpetrator to the victim or her heirs, excluding perpetrators or accomplices to the harmful practice; clearly state that while compensation is a punitive element in violence against women cases, it is not a substitute for other punishments, such as imprisonment, and make provision for a state-sponsored compensation program. (See: UN Handbook, p. 59)  In cases where the offender cannot pay the victim compensation, laws should provide for state-sponsored or other compensation for victims who have sustained significant bodily injury or impairment of physical or mental health as a result of the harmful practice. (See: Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, paras. 12-13)