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
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Core elements of legislation on dowry-related violence

Last edited: February 28, 2011

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The following elements should be established as the core elements of any legislation addressing dowry-related violence:

  • Criminalization of dowry-related violence and acts of domestic violence;
  • Criminalization of dowry-related deaths;
  • Cross-reference to accompanying civil remedy laws that protect against domestic violence and provide a fully developed order for protection civil remedy, including an emergency or ex parte order for protection, for victims or potential victims;
  • A criminal offense for violation of the order for protection with a cross-reference to any relevant provisions of the criminal laws, such as punishment for various levels of offenses;
  • Enhanced penalties for multiple violations of the dowry-related violence legislation and the order for protection;
  • Enhanced penalties for other domestic violence-related criminal offenses
  • Prohibition of perpetrators from possessing a firearm, acid, and other dangerous weapons;
  • Cross-reference to corresponding criminal laws that punish extortion and civil tort remedies for extortion;
  • Cross-reference to corresponding laws that prohibit discrimination against women and girls in inheritance;
  • Allowing courts, in protection orders, to order child custody and support to the non-violent parent and allowing courts to enter a protection order as to the child;
  • 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;
  • Coordination among relevant sectors in formulating a comprehensive response to dowry-related violence, including among government agencies, law enforcement, the judicial system, the health care sector, and civil society organizations.
  • Public education to increase awareness about women’s human rights , dowry-related violence, and property and inheritance laws;
  • Assistance and support for victims of dowry-related violence;
  • Statistics gathering and research on the prevalence of the problem, and;
  • Establishment of an inter-agency task force to ensure a coordinated community response to dowry-related violence and domestic violence.

(See: Drafting Domestic Violence Laws, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Domestic Violence sub-section)