Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence? What You Can Do to Protect Yourself?

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on March 15, 2024, 08:46:12


suffering domestic violence crucial understand

If you are suffering from domestic violence, it's crucial to understand that assistance is available. You can approach law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, social welfare services, or support groups dedicated to aiding victims of abuse, and support is within your reach.

Domestic violence is a major issue affecting individuals worldwide, including those residing in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE government has taken decisive action to address this issue, notably with the implementation of the Family Protection Policy in 2019.

The policy aims to protect women, children, the elderly and individuals with special needs from all forms of violence and abuse. Furthermore, the UAE has enacted legislation specifically tailored to safeguard victims of domestic violence and ensure they have access to essential legal rights and support networks.

Under Federal Decree Law no.10/2019 on the Protection of Domestic Violence, domestic violence includes various forms of abuse, including physical, psychological, sexual and economic mistreatment.

The law outlines specific legal rights provided to victims of domestic abuse in the UAE:

Filing a Complaint: Victims have the right to report incidents of abuse to law enforcement authorities, leading to a thorough investigation and necessary interventions to ensure their safety.

Protective Orders: Victims can seek protection orders from the court, which prohibit the abuser from contacting or approaching them. These orders are issued based on the victim's application and are designed to provide effective protection measures.

Medical Care and Counselling: Victims have access to medical care and counselling services offered by various healthcare facilities and organisations, ensuring comprehensive support for their physical and emotional well-being.

Legal Representation: Victims have the right to legal representation if they opt to pursue legal action against their abuser, ensuring fair treatment throughout the legal process.

Compensation: Victims are entitled to compensation for damages incurred as a result of the abuse, including medical expenses and lost income.
Despite social customs and habits that may contribute to underreporting of domestic violence cases, there has been a notable increase in women taking action against their abusers in recent years.

This proactive approach has led to a 20 per cent decrease in reported cases in 2022, highlighting the positive impact of increased awareness and support mechanisms.
It’s not just about getting immediate help but also about knowing your legal rights and options.

Therefore, if you find yourself facing domestic violence in the UAE, it's necessary to reach out to an experienced lawyer or law firm for guidance. A lawyer can walk you through your legal rights and options, ensuring you understand the steps you can take to protect yourself.

(The writer is a Legal Associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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