Session 10

It has been 7 years since legislation was enacted to protect survivors of domestic violence. This paper will look at the reasons as to why Act Number 3/2012 (Domestic Violence Act), needed to be passed in order to protect survivors of domestic violence and analyze whether the purposes of enacting the Act are being achieved based on the progress made on its implementation. This paper consists of 5 sections.

The first section of the paper will highlight the reasons as to why a special mechanism needed to be created to combat domestic violence and the roles of different institutions within the system, as per International Conventions to which the Maldives is a party, the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, and research done on domestic violence. The second section of the paper will outline the procedural mechanisms used in domestic violence cases by relevant institutions, inclusive of case reporting procedures, procedures on applying for a protection order, and the investigation and prosecution of criminal domestic violence cases.

As protection orders were introduced under the Act as a special protection feature, the third section of the paper will focus on whether the purpose of introducing a protection order is being achieved based on the challenges and difficulties faced by the public, the procedures followed by the court in issuing a protection order and the challenges faced by enforcement authorities in implementing the order. It will then consider the methods used in other jurisdictions to tackle these issues.

The fourth section of the paper will discuss the importance of constructing temporary protection centers for survivors. The paper will conclude by outlining an action plan to fully implement the Domestic Violence Act.