Friday, December 19, 2014

Domestic Violence in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of those countries where domestic violence is at peak. When we say domestic violence, it means physical torture or physically beating activity among the family members. In Saudi Arabia, in 99% cases the domestic violence is from the side of the male. Saudi Arabia is a male dominant society where beating up children is treated to be a very normal thing. Physically beating wife by the husband is also not a very rare act. According to the National Family Safety Program (NFSP), three out of 10 women in Saudi Arabia are subjected to domestic violence.

Violence against women and children is not something which is confined to Saudi Arabia, it is a global issue. Studies suggest that at least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, forced into sex or abused in her lifetime, while up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to travel out of their house without close family members. They rarely have any interaction with any other male than their family members. It suggests that in 99% cases abuse is done by the close family members.

Unfortunately, there are no criminal laws protecting the rights of the women and children at home to stop domestic violence. In absence of the laws, women cannot go to the police to register a complaint against their husband. Even if the complaint is registered, cases of domestic violence are not taken seriously. At the end of the day, they have to go for divorce. Domestic violence is one of the major reasons of increased rate of divorces in Saudi Arabia.

A really impressive and original campaign was launched in 2013. It is sponsored by Libra Productions, a sound studio and music management agency based in Jeddah. The Saudi participants have been posting photos and awareness messages on their Twitter account using the hashtag #اضربها. The company also partnered with a law firm to provide consultations for those who need it. To speak publicly for the rights of women is incredible and very courageous act of all the participants of this campaign. The participants of the campaign are standing up for what they believe is right. Saudi Arabia must be proud of its younger generation.


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