Dominica: Update to DMA28875.E of 27 February 1998 on the protection available to women victims of domestic abuse
|Publisher||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||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: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a70408d0.html [accessed 23 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.
Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties 2001-2002. 2002 Edited by Adrian Karatnycky et al.
Organization of American States (OAS). n.d. Inter-American Commission of Women. "Violence Laws."
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.
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
Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defence of Women's Rights (CLADEM)
State of the World's Mother 2003
Women's Human Rights Resources