Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

Dominica: Update to DMA28875.E of 27 February 1998 on the protection available to women victims of domestic abuse

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa
Publication Date 31 July 2003
Citation / Document Symbol DMA41776.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Dominica: Update to DMA28875.E of 27 February 1998 on the protection available to women victims of domestic abuse, 31 July 2003, DMA41776.E, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Several sources consulted by the Research Directorate indicated that domestic violence is common in Dominica (Freedom in the World 2001-2002 2002; UN 27 Feb. 2003, 246; Country Reports 2002 31 Mar. 2003, Sec. #5).

The Inter-American Commission of Women mentions three laws relevant to violence and women in Dominica: the Sexual Offenses Act (1998), Domestic Violence Bill No. 77586 (1996) and Sexual Offenses Act (1992) (OAS n.d.). According to the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights "[i]n 1998, a new Sexual Offences Act replaced the previous act, which required medical evidence or witness corroboration for indictment" (27 Feb. 2003, 245). Furthermore, Country Reports 2002 stated that a Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, enacted in December 2001,

allows abused persons to appear before a magistrate without an attorney and request a protective order. The court may also order that the alleged perpetrator be removed from the home in order to allow the victims, usually women and children, to remain in the home while the matter is being investigated (31 Mar. 2003, Sec.5).

The United Nations Commission on Human Right also stated that

[w]omen can bring charges against [their] husbands for battery and both the police and the Courts prosecute cases of rape and sexual assault. As a matter of policy all rape cases are handled by women police officers. The Department of Labour recruited a permanent counsellor to assist women victims of domestic violence. The Welfare Department reports all cases of abuse to the police and they assist victims to find shelters, providing counselling to both parties and recommend police action. Mediation centres for men and women are available (27 Feb. 2003, 246).

No other information on the protection available to women victims of domestic abuse could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 10 July 2003]

Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties 2001-2002. 2002 Edited by Adrian Karatnycky et al. [Accessed 10 July 2003]

Organization of American States (OAS). n.d. Inter-American Commission of Women. "Violence Laws." [Accessed 10 July 2003]

United Nations (UN). 27 February 2003. Commission on Human Rights. (E/CN/2003/75/Add.1). "Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective Violence Against Women."[Accessed 11 July 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted


The Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW) could not provide information on the above-mentioned topic.

IRB Databases

Unsuccessful attempt to contact one oral source.

Internet sites, including:

Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA)

Center for Reproductive Rights

Chasque – Case de la Mujer

Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

Gender and Legislation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Guide to the International Women's Movement

Human Rights International

International Planned Parenthood Association

Isis International

Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defence of Women's Rights (CLADEM)

Red Feminista

State of the World's Mother 2003



Women's Human Rights Resources

Women Watch

Search engines:


Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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