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Dominican Republic: Laws and protection available to women who are victims of domestic violence (update to DOM18859.E and previous Responses)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 August 1998
Citation / Document Symbol DOM30008.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Dominican Republic: Laws and protection available to women who are victims of domestic violence (update to DOM18859.E and previous Responses), 1 August 1998, DOM30008.E, available at: [accessed 31 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.


In January 1997 the government promulgated legislation modifying the existing Penal Code to address the problem of domestic violence; the law became known as Law 24-97 on Intrafamily Violence.

The enforcement of the new law has reportedly faced difficulties: in addition to a long established "patriarchal culture," there seems to be some resistance to enforce it among officers of the judiciary, and the government has not provided adequate resources to the institutions dealing with intrafamily violence (CIPAF 1998). Country Reports 1997, available at your Regional Documentation Centre, contains additional comments on this law and its enforcement.

Please find attached excerpts from the Fourth Periodic Report by the Dominican Republic before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which detail the amendments to the Penal Code established by Law 24-97, and provide an overview of the situation regarding violence against women in the country as well as the measures and services implemented to address this problem.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) announced in 1997 a project to provide treatment to victims of family violence in the Dominican Republic and five other Latin American countries (IADB 1998). The project includes the promotion of coordinated action by health posts and emergency rooms, police stations, civil and penal courts, counselling services, crisis centres and shelters (ibid.).

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.


Centro de Investigacion Para la Accion Femenina (CIPAF), Santo Domingo. 1998. L. E. Asturias. Violencia contra las mujeres en Republica Dominicana. [Internet] [Accessed 28 Aug. 1998]

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Washington, DC. BID Mujer. May 1997. "Actividades relacionadas con la violencia domestica." [Internet] [Accessed 28 Aug. 1998]

United Nations, Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 10 November 1997. (CEDAW/C/DOM/4). Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention. Fourth Periodic Reports of States Parties: Dominican Republic. Vienna: United Nations, pp. 20-22, 28-29.

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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