A seventeen years old Sri Lankan boy from Massenna, Balangoda succumbed to head injuries caused by a fatal blow from his father. The boy was hit on his head by a handle of a spade while attempting to save his mother from beatings of the drunken father.
The father, who came to the funeral house, handcuffed, escorted by prison guards, lamented seeking apology from the son.
Domestic violence is one of the main reasons for the murder of women in Sri Lanka. A study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Kelaniya University reveals that one third of women’s unnatural death is due to violence by the intimate partner.
128 out of 243 murders taken into consideration for the three-year research, the legal husbands was suspected for the murder of the wife.
It is not rare that children are killed due to domestic violence and intimate partner violence. As frequently reported, either mother or father kills their children and commits suicide.
It is pathetic to see that these circumstances continue despite the establishment of applicable laws. What are the reasons for not implementing such laws?
Do you know about Prevention of Domestic Violence Act No. 34 of 2005?
This act defines any action which constitutes an offence or any emotional abuse, committed or caused by a relevant person within the environment of the home or outside and arising out of the personal relationship between the aggrieved person and the relevant person as domestic violence.
According to subsection 2(1) of the act, a person, in respect of whom an act of domestic violence has been, is, or is likely to be, committed may make an application to the Magistrate’s Court for a Protection Order, for the prevention of such act of domestic violence. In concern to a child under 18 years of age, father, mother, guardian or Child Protection Authority can make a request.
Affidavits of any person who has knowledge of the aforesaid acts of domestic violence may be attached to the application, in support thereof.
A complaint can be made directly to the Magistrate’s Court within whose jurisdiction area domestic violence has been committed either through police or through a lawyer.
Upon an application being made in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of this Act, the Court shall forthwith consider the application.
As per Section 4 of the Act, the court has the power to issue an order for Interim Protection until the conclusion of the inquiry into the application. In these cases court can direct the parties to family counsellors.
Prevention of Domestic violence is not relevant only to women. Law is applicable to all victimized irrespective of gender.
All domestic violence except emotional abuse against an adult is an offence under penal code. Accordingly the police should take actions against domestic violence under penal code..
The aggrieved should report to the hospital or to the police in case of severe physical and sexual abuse has been committed. If injuries indicate a criminal offence, case should be filed against the accused under criminal law.
Harassment, sexual harassment, sexual abuse s and physical assaults are categorized as criminal offences under Penal Code (Amendment) Act No 22 of 1995.
Don’t be afraid to approach the services for the victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Prevention of Children’s Right: 1929
Prevention of Women’s Rights: 1938