The Domestic Violence Unit operates on two levels, the first is legal and the second is awareness-raising.
On the legal level, the Unit launches campaigns to stifle discrimination against women laws and submits draft laws that protect women from violence and achieve equality within the family.
In this context, it is following up on the implementation and activation of Law No. 293/2014 regarding the protection of women and other family members from domestic violence, which was approved on April 1, 2014, after a six-year lobbying campaign led by KAFA. It is also working to fill its gaps. It built a partnership with the Internal Security Forces and the Ministry of Justice, to activate protection for women, resulting in a draft to amend Law 293. This draft was signed and submitted to the Parliament by 10 deputies belonging to different political blocs, approved in the plenary session on December 21, 2020, and published in the Official Gazette under No. 204/2020.
The Domestic Violence Unit also works on exposing the discrimination that exists in the personal status laws adopted in Lebanon, which give men absolute power within the family, seeking to dedicate the state’s role in protecting individuals’ affairs by enacting a personal status law that secures equality within the family. Therefore, studies related to these laws were prepared and a proposed draft of a general and unified personal status law was proposed to restore the state's role.
On the awareness level, the Unit is conducting training on gender, advocacy, international conventions for women, and local laws. It is preparing specialized manuals and other manuals for training the trainers, most importantly those that have been prepared for training the Internal Security Forces on how to intervene with victims of domestic violence.
This project, in collaboration with UNDEF Fund, aims to strengthen advocacy efforts towards a gender-sensitive civil personal status law in Lebanon. It will build a strong foundation for a well-informed, consistent national campaign to change the current law, which threatens democracy and human rights, in particular the rights of women, children, and marginalized groups, as well as increasing political pressure on lawmakers.
« A woman was beaten up by her brother and kicked out of the house. She is now on the street. » « A woman is now being physically assaulted in her own house. »
« He took away my one-week-old son. » « A man beat up his wife with a rolling pin and broke her arm. He left the house where she stayed with her children. »