Legislation

Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Core elements of legislation on domestic violence

Last edited: December 09, 2010

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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)