Domestic Violence in UAE
Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence, even in the modern world. Despite the fact that the United Nations and large numbers of NGOs have been taking measures for the provision of Human Rights to all the world citizens, domestic violence is still spreading like an epidemic in many countries.
What is Domestic violence?
The threatening behavior or willful abuse, intimidation or violence that takes place within the boundaries of home, typically by one’s spouse, is known as domestic violence. Domestic violence and abuse can be of many types i.e. physical, psychological, sexual and emotional. It is usually done to establish or maintain one’s power or influence upon the other. It can be of many forms and severity. Women are usually the target of domestic violence and abuse.
Women Don't Have it Easy in the UAE
The UAE is also among the countries where domestic violence against women is riding high and authorities have failed to successfully respond to reports of domestic violence, presumably due to the following of Shiria Law, which condons poor treatment of women and even encourages it. The Human Rights Watch reported in 2015 that there are no independent women’s right organizations in the UAE. The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) reported that they have helped 196 victims of domestic violence in the first half of 2016. Although the number has slightly decreased as compared to the same period of 2015 during which the DFWAC received 231 victims, but the numbers are still very high.
Out of these 196 cases, 162 are of the women who have been victim of their husband’s violence and abuse, which shows how women still suffer despite several proclamations by the UAE leaders that women will be protected under the country’s laws. Other victims were targeted by their fathers, ex-husbands, mother, brothers or employers.
The majority of these victims were subjected to more than one type of violence, including physical, sexual, financial, emotional and/or verbal.
The staggering fact is that 145 of these 196 victims are not UAE nationals, which shows how women of other nationalities, living in UAE, are subjugated and tortured.
These are only the cases that the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children has received and there are much more cases of domestic violence in UAE. There is no complete data or statistics available because most of the women do not report the violence and abuse they face.
The government needs to revise its policies and take concrete measure not only to support and help victims of domestic abuse, but also to create awareness among its citizens that will ensure a violence free environment. Also, it needs to formulate strong laws against the abusers to ensure that women in UAE can also enjoy their basic human rights. Women living in UAE should learn about their rights and should speak up in case of any injustice and/ or abuse.