SEED Foundation June 6, 2022 Statement on Revisions to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Combating Domestic Violence Law (Law No. 8 of 2011) [EN/KU] – Iraq

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The SEED Foundation commends the efforts of the Kurdistan Parliament to amend the Law on Combating Domestic Violence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Law No. 8 of 2011). SEED urges the passage of key changes, to ensure a more inclusive and robust law that effectively promotes and protects the rights of all survivors and those at risk of all forms of gender-based violence (GBV).

We are in a crisis in Kurdistan with a dramatic increase in honor killings, suicides and violence against women. We have seen an alarming increase in all forms of GBV, including technology-facilitated violence, particularly during the humanitarian crisis and the global pandemic.

Over 45% of women living in Iraq report having been victims of domestic violence in the past 12 months, and over 40% of women report feeling unsafe in their own community. In the first half of 2022, at least 24 women were killed as a result of gender-based violence, the same number as the total number of femicides recorded in 2021, an explosive and terrifying increase.

To respond to this unprecedented assault on women and girls, Kurdistan needs an even stronger law. Now is a critical time for Parliament to act to ensure that all women in Kurdistan have access to protective and other services. We request the following amendments:

  • The revised law should broaden its scope to protect every individual, against all forms of gender-based violence, within and outside the family setting, because while women are the most affected by GBV, girls, boys and men are also survivors of GBV. , domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, technology-facilitated GBV, and more.

  • The revised law should adopt a victim-centered approach ensuring safety, confidentiality, respect and non-discrimination. Mediation or reconciliation must be voluntary, require the consent of the survivor, and access to shelter must be accessible to all, to ensure that the dignity, interests and safety of the survivor are respected.

  • To be effective and achieve strong implementation, the law must be supported by an annual budget and sufficient resources, as well as enforceable and comprehensive regulations.

Addressing GBV is an essential foundation for a peaceful, healthy and thriving society free from violence, and we call on the Kurdistan Parliament to work with strength and courage to address this crisis.

Contact: To speak with a SEED representative, please contact [email protected]

SEED Foundation is a local NGO in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, committed to the protection, empowerment and recovery support of survivors of violence and others at risk. Our approach to this mission is integrative and holistic. We provide comprehensive and quality services, including mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS), legal, protection and shelter services; the training and education of those who work to protect and serve survivors; and policy and advocacy to strengthen laws, policies, practices and the protection of vulnerable people and promote social change.

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