Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Issue

Domestic Violence until recently was not seen as a serious crime. The domestic violence units that were initially created were not given the jurisdiction to investigate abuses or even decide what charges should be made against the perpetrators. A study that was made for Dispatches programme , said that among the 512 cases that were studied in London, only 20% of them lead to lawful actions. Only 6% of the cases had earned specific charges against the perpetrators of DV and only 3% of them were sentenced for a conviction and . 5% was put to prison.

The numbers aforementioned indeed reflect that the manner on how DV is treated is indeed very low, but one could necessarily imply that if this has been the case in some places where attempts to combat DV are in existence, it is highly possible that some police forces on other countries could fail to adequately response on the needs against combating DV . Roth claimed that one of the major reasons why it took a very long time for DV to be recognized in the mainstream of human rights issue violations is due to the political dimension that is attached to it.

Roth's argument for DV came as in implication from the government's attitude in terms of treating criminals. He argued that due to the fact that majority of the criminals in prison belongs to the lower part of the social strata, they are primarily persecuted because of their "presumed aspirations" . The same perception from the government was used in terms of addressing the issue of DV. As such Roth said: "By the same token, the lack of a traditional political motivation behind domestic violence against women should no longer preclude its consideration by international human rights organizations.

Like violence against presumed common criminals, violence against women violence amounts to a tacit endorsement of that violence. That complicity provides the requisite governmental dimension to consider the violence a human rights issue. The same theory of state responsibility by omission rather than commission can be seen in Human Rights Watch's treatment of a range of other abuses… " It could be seen from the aforementioned arguments that it took quite a long time after DV made it on the mainstream of Human Rights.

The Vienna Declaration and the Program of Action directly calls on the protection of all forms of violence against women which includes "traditional practices of intolerance and extremism". Such also paved the way to the ratification of CEDAW, included the provisions in the UN Charter, the International Bill of Human Rights and the African Charter of Human and People's Rights. On the 49th session of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) decided to bring the issue of DV on the mainstream of human rights program. Such attempted to include human rights into their work and deciding to have a special rapporteur on violence against women .

If one would review the advancements made on DV and linking it to human rights, it could be seen that the developments in relation to such were made were a bit slow due to the late realization that eliminating violence against women must be a human rights obligation . Due to the effects of the war to the former Yugoslavia, this incidence then paved the way for the government to realize that gender-based violence is indeed a human rights violation that resulted not just because of a war or a private matter that only exists within domestic laws.

After such a realization was made, it is then that the subordinate status of women in the society was deeply tied on the notion of gender-based violence. In relation with this, the realization that violence against women was also occurring in terms of cultural dogmas in addition to international trafficking and its relationship to the universal notion of human dignity.