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The Report of Monitoring and Implementing the Bylaw of (Standing-against Domestic Violence) (November 25, 2016)

Women’s Legal Assistance Organization

In Cooperation with (NED)

 

 

The Report of Monitoring and Implementing the Bylaw of

(Standing-against Domestic Violence)

Kurdistan Region of Iraq- KRI

 

(November 25, 2016)

 

 

 

 

Prepared by Attorneys:

Shokhan Hamarasheed Ahmed                             Bryar Muhammad Kakarash

 

Introduction

We, as Women’s Legal Assistance Organization (WOLA), from the issuance day of domestic violence bylaw, we have taken the responsibility of monitoring and implementation of the law in cooperation with (NED) du to its importance for Kurdish society. Since the establishment of our monitoring, our priority was for cities, but after 6 years of work and publishing 9 annual report, we tried to expand our monitoring range by visiting those districts that we couldn’t monitored until now. For the previously mentioned reason, this report we have visited most of the districts of the governorates to observe the implementation of the bylaw. In this report we have tried to know what is the implementation status of this bylaw in these districts, and follow the status of their implementation. We also tried to work on:

-Addressing all the problems and obstacles impeding the implementation of the bylaw in the areas we monitored.

-Presenting the statistics of all the areas monitored, and analyzing those statistics.

-Show some of the cases due to domestic violence and showing the sub-sequential damage.

 

In this report and for the first time, we have accomplished carrying out survey in all parts of the region about domestic violence combating bylaw, the performance of the commission works and domestic violence courts. In order to know that after 6 years of the issuance of the bylaw, what is the extent of people’s awareness in terms of understanding of this bylaw? To what extent should the dissemination of the legal awareness be taken into consideration? What is the extent of the victim’s contentment in cases of domestic violence with the procedures of courts of domestic violence and reconciliation committees?

Finally, as a result of problems and obstacles that we have observed at the time of the monitoring of the bylaw in different areas, we tried to present some important suggestions to the different parties involved, we hope that it will be beneficial and worthy to be worked on in order to resolve or reduce all the problems in front of the implementation and improvement of the bylaw, so as this bylaw would not lose its genuine significance that it already has.

 

 

 

 

 

First/ As Sulaymaniyah Governorate

  • 1-Domestic Violence Investigation Court/ As Sulaymaniyah

     

    * Domestic Violence Investigation Court in As Sulaymaniyah, according to the structure, consists of:

    1- Judge of the Domestic Violence Investigation Court.

    2- A member of the Attorney General.

    3- Court clerk: consists of 4 judicial investigators.

    4- Reconciliation Committee: consists of 12 members divide into 4 groups. Each group consists of 3 persons, and each group includes: a lawyer, a psychologist, and a social worker).

     

    *Investigation procedures at Domestic Violence Investigation Court:

    In cases of domestic violence the victim visits standing- against domestic violence offices and files a complaint against the doer of the violence, after receiving the victim’s statement by the inspector. Then, the victim would be referred to the judge to confirm her statement and present all the evidences, later both sides of the case would be sent to the reconciliation committee in order to solve their problem and reach reconciliation. If the committee could solve their problem and reconcile them, the case will be closed and the petition will end. In case their problem is not solved, the committee will write their report and the parties would be referred to a specific court.

     

     

  • 2-As Sulaymaniyah: The Court of Domestic Misdemeanor

In As Sulaymaniyah governorate there is no an independent misdemeanor court yet, for family issues and cases, the one which is available is misdemeanor court 1 in As Sulaymaniyah that was established in (12-5-2013). In addition to their own duties, they are responsible for matters related to domestic violence to reach settlements. This court has appointed Tuesdays of each week to hear family related cases. Misdemeanor court 1 in As Sulaymaniyah consists of a judge and 8 employees who, in addition to their own duties, also go through family-related cases.

According to the words of the judge and clerks, there are many problems affect the implementation and the flow of the procedures of this bylaw. The problems are as follows:

  • 1-Problems related to the bylaw.
  • 2-Absence of an independent misdemeanor court for family cases.
  • 3-Absence of specific employee (clerk) for family misdemeanor court.
  • 4-Despite the absence of an independent misdemeanor court for family issues, the only thing that exists is the misdemeanor court 1 in As Sulaymaniyah that specified Tuesdays are not to hear family cases, but also cases unrelated to family issues. The judge added saying that clearing the court hall from people is another challenging problem facing the easy flow of the procedures, since according to the law of domestic violence, court sessions should be done in private context. Thus, making sure that the privacy of these cases is intact which mostly delays the easy sequence of the procedures.
  • 5-Procrastination of public paper work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Criminal Court / As Sulaymaniyah

Until now the criminal court specific to family lawsuits is not established neither in As Sulaymaniyah nor in any other province in Kurdistan region. However due to item 1 article 3 in family violence combat law has stated that a specified court for combating family issues must be established, the only one that exists is the criminal court in addition to their duties they take care of family lawsuits.

 

 

  1. Reconciliation Committee/ As Sulaymaniyah

In this year, the affairs of the reconciliation committee encountered a retreat despite its important role. The reasons are as follows:

  1. The court does not supervise the committee’s affairs properly; no one investigates the absence or the presence of the committee members.
  2. The committee members are not permanent staff or as a formal employees, but they are replaced constantly. That means someone that accumulates information about the family issues and their solutions will leave the committee and replace it by another person that most likely lacks enough experience. The new employee requires time to get acquainted with lawsuits and their procedures.
  3. The non-existence of any financial payment for the committee members in consideration of their hard work. Since the onset of the project till now none of the members have received any financial payments, despite finalizing some lawsuits in and outside courts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Statistics of As Sulaymaniyah Governorate

1- The Statistics for the first 7 months (2017) form the Directorate of Standing-against Violence towards Women.

 

 

Accident style

Murder

Suicide

Immolation

Self-immolation

Complaints

Sexual

Assault

Total

s

 

1

2

 

47

2

52

February

1

1

5

1

33

 

41

March

 

2

7

1

30

1

41

April

1

 

6

 

30

1

38

May

1

1

6

2

49

4

63

June

 

2

1

 

43

 

46

July

1

 

6

3

34

2

46

Total

4

7

33

7

266

10

327

2- Statistics of Western Center from January- June 2016

 

Transferred Papers

Resident Papers

Sheltered

Imprisoned

92

393

30

128

Closed

Transferred

Ongoing

Closed

Transferred

Ongoing

Left

Ongoing

Left

Stayed

26

5

61

181

76

136

13

2

128

-

Female

Male

Female

Male

Closed

Transferred

44

57

291

121

2

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Statistics of Eastern Office

The first 9 months of 2016

Transferred

Closed

Ongoing lawsuits

Male complaint

Female complaint

Total

40

119

100

100

214

314

%32

%68

 

 

  1. Statistics of Domestic Violence Investigation Court

The first 6 months of 2016

Ongoing Lawsuits

Transferred to another court

Closed after reconciliation

Closed

Total

740

38

318

356

1452

                                                                                                             

 

 

 

  1. Statistics of Domestic Misdemeanor Court

The first 9 months of 2016

Transferred to another court

Closed

Ongoing lawsuits

total

8

30

389

427

 

 

6- Statistics of Reconciliation Committee

The first 9 months of 2016

Ongoing Lawsuits

Closed/ Reconciliation

Total

42

 

318

360

%88

 

 

 

*What do those statistics tell us?

  1. Domestic violence lawsuits are increasing.
  2. The accumulation of the lawsuits in the courts especially in the Misdemeanor Court, late settlement of the lawsuits, this is because there is no a Misdemeanor court specified to the family issues, but the judge of the Misdemeanor court1 despite his own duties looks after the family issues, this had become the main reason to be unable to take care of the family lawsuits and settle those lawsuits despite their sensitivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second/ Erbil Governorate

  1. Offices of Directorate of Standing-against Violence towards Women.

According to article 6 of article domestic violence law, it is an obligation on the Ministry of Interior to establish a special section run by policewomen of a basic standard to deal with issues related to domestic violence. With the consent of Council of Ministers number 199/25 in 21/10/2011, 8 police offices opened named as “Standing-against Domestic Violence”. Currently, there are offices in most of the districts, however, those office are under great pressure when putting in mind the fact that Erbil is a biggest governorate in KRI, most of plaintiffs are complaining that those two offices in the city are too far and it is difficult for them to go there, there is no any office in Kasnazan, Ankawa, Erbil countryside (Dashty Hawler), Daratoo and Qushtapa so in those places the plaintiff must go to one of the two offices in the city. The point worth to be mentioned and noticeable is that those offices follow the bylaw of standing-against domestic violence and solving the domestic violence issues, but the names of those offices are still as the Directorate of Standing-against Violence against Women. Also those offices have so many problems especially in the number of employees and the supplies needed for the office, for instance in most of the offices there is lack of transportation means, most of the offices have only one car.

The head of Directorate of Standing-against Violence against Women/Erbil when talking about the bylaw of domestic violence said: due to that bylaw a more and more women are filing complains. Yet, women who have electronic devices and face problems related to the misuse of their mobile phones are afraid to file complaints. In the previously mentioned cases, it is mostly men who file complaints accusing their wives of infidelity. Despite, these sort of accusations are filed by men against their wives accusing them of infidelity is not by law, yet many spouses are divorced in consequence since they lack enough awareness. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness amongst people by NGOs. The sort of the previously mentioned cases is adding up to other problems like self-immolation of women, which is already high and still persisting to exist. Until now this case is not reduced. Domestic violence bylaw in itself is a good, yet it is not implemented completely, for instance when a women is under threat and is sent to shelter, she should be given some money. Financial independence is important for women, so if the government provides salary and place for children and women in shelter, the issues and problems will be reduced drastically.

 

The head we see that there are some fields that no one has filed complaints, but there are no cases filed as related to enforced sexual intercourse or female gentile mutilation known (FGM) till now. However, these incidents still happen on daily basis in some places while throughout the past years only one FGM compliant is filed.

 

** In Erbil governorate there are two offices of (Directorate of Standing-against Violence against Women) that work on family lawsuits. They are as below:

 

*Minaret office:

This office is established with a ministerial order, it covers all allies in Erbil, this office has 42 employees that 13 of them are women.

 

Issues and problems related to these offices:

Major Nibras, the director of the office, said that generally paper work is done properly, but there are some shortcomings, for instance we do not have a psychiatrist in our office, there are lots of lawsuits that requires special type of treatment and handling, therefore a psychiatrist’s availability is vital.

Also as related to domestic violence, he said that bylaw has some defects, for instance it is better if the reconciliation committee would be inside the offices because there are some lawsuits that does not need to be extended or there are some lawsuits that one of the spouses says “I will never reconcile” leading to complications instead of solving the problem. Besides, there are some cases that lack legislative law of them so they persist and at one point they are closed. So, it should be transferred to another court or a special law should be constituted for it.

 

*Qalla office:

This office was established in 2013. The number of office employees are: civil servants: 2          ,martial: 47          , 33: men,          16women

 

 

  1. Domestic Violence Investigation Court- Erbil

This court was established on behest of chancery in 20/9/2011 number 1/666.

This court consists of:

1- Judge of Domestic Violence Court.

2- One member of General Attorney.

3- Reconciliation committee that consists of 18 members, who are divided into 3 groups, each group includes 6 persons.

4- There is no clerk provided by Domestic Violence Court, thus the duties of the clerk are performed by the Investigation Court.

 

 

 

  1. Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Court- Erbil

This court is established with the decree of the Supreme Judicial Council on 20/9/2011 number 1/666. All those lawsuits that are not solved in the reconciliation committee are transferred to this court to be settled.

Judge of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Court talking about the duties of this court said that the works of this court are performed in accordance with act number 8 of 2011, and its specifications are taken into account that are stated in the (third, fourth, and fifth) articles of the law. In accordance with the fourth item in the second article the trial is held privately to protect family’s privacy, doubtless the trial is done in private with the confidentiality of the lawsuits protected.

Also judge Gailan said that the bylaw needs amendment. He says that according to my opinion, a committee of expertise consisting of: judges, university lecturers, public attorney, and those who work in that field as police officers and other employees and other experts in this field should review the bylaw and try to amend it. Judge Gailan adds that that the second item of the first article that states until fourth degree which is so high, because it deals with a lot of relatives, however, they might not have any relations such as cousin…. etc., but it should even deal with extended relatives too.

Judge Gailan continues saying that because the problems are domestic so he thinks it is best o those penalties that stated in articles 6 and 7 are overburdening, especially when it comes to fines. However, the court has its own judicial power to reduce it according to article (133) of Criminal Law, but it is better to be reduced in the bylaw itself.

Law should take into consideration the social distinctiveness and try to achieve reconciliation to avoid separation and divorce, I think that this law sometimes has negative effect and leads to separation and divorce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Reconciliation Committee

On November 11, 2011 The Investigation Court of Domestic Violence sent a formal document to Hawler’s Court of Cassation to inform the related parties to appoint representatives and specialists for the reconciliation committee.

The head of Hawler’s Court Of Cassation founded the committee in 2013. It consists of 18 members. It includes representatives of: Ministry of Interior, The Directorate of Social Affairs, Ministry of Health and High Commission of Women Affairs, Islamic Scholars Union along with Lawyers Syndicate. All of the previously mentioned members have expertise in: psychology, medicine, social work, law, and religion with added expertise provided by police officers and women rights.

This committee has 3 sessions a week. Each day 3 members attend the sessions and do their best to make reconciliation among the disputed parties and minimize the problems. Most of the lawsuits are being settled within the committee by making it understandable and bringing the parties closer to each other. Other lawsuits are sent to courts.

Most parties working on the application of domestic violence law inquire that the works of the committee be put ahead of the courts, so that directly after the claim the committee starts acting. Thus will help shorten the way to the courts or even settle the lawsuits before sending it to the court.

Statistics

  1. Domestic Violence Investigation Court/Erbil

From 1/1/2016 till 30/6/2016

 

Ongoing Lawsuits

Closed

Total

2245

391

2636

 

  1. Statistics of Domestic Misdemeanor Court/Erbil

From 1/1/2016 till 30/6/2016

Ongoing Lawsuits

Closed

Total

59

44

103

 

  1. Statistics of Shaqlawa Office

From 1/1/2016 till 25/10/2016

 

Transferred to Specialized Court

Ongoing Lawsuits

Closed

Total

11

14

69

94

 

  1. Statistics of Khabat Office

From 1/1/2016 until 23/10/2016

 

Transferred to Specialized Court

Ongoing Lawsuits

Closed

Total

34

62

71

167

 

  1. Statistics of Koya office

From 1/1/2016 till 23/10/2016

Transferred to Specialized Court

Ongoing

Closed

Total

12

62

39

113

 

 

 

What do these statistics tell us?

Those statistics tell us that domestic issues have increased drastically because in the first 10 months of 2016 a total of (3113) petitions have been filed which is a high rate that needs to be considered.

This shows that more efforts must be dedicated the bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence indicating the problems facing the bylaw and the shortcomings of the bylaw itself.

Also more effort should be devoted for domestic and legal awareness among people. This kind of awareness would help to solve or reduce the rate of these problems, especially that KRG is going through a rough time of economic crisis that affected every aspect of living, especially issues related to women and domestic violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Photos of the activities

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Interviewing the head of Directorate of Standing-against Violence towards Women by WOLA representative

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Interviewing the head of Koya Office by WOLA representative

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The Building of Koya Office

 

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Interviewing the head of Shaqlawa Office by WOLA representative

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The Building of Shaqlawa Office

 

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Interviewing the head of Khabat Office by WOLA representative

Third/ Duhok governorate

As a team of legal assistance organization we visited Duhok governorate in order to monitor the status of the bylaw implementation, and the obstacles facing its implementation. Unfortunately, we could only collect some data about the reconciliation committee and their affairs for this report, however we visited the Domestic Violence Court, but because the judge of this bylaw was on a 20-days permission we could not have enough information about the courts.

 

*Reconciliation Committee of Duhok:

Reconciliation Committee of Duhok is located within the Family Counseling Center, in contrast to other governorates which are located in courts, this committee works daily from 8am until 3pm and if there are lawsuits they might stay until 4pm to 5pm with an average of 2 lawsuits a day.

Each day 3 members are present that are: social worker, psychologist, lawyer, and a clergyman. Members of the committee mentioned that most of the lawsuits in the committee are solved with reconciliation because most of the committee members have expertise in solving domestic’s issues. They usually sit and talk to both sides in order to resolve their problems no matter how long it takes. Sometimes they have sat and spoke with sides for 5 different occasions to solve the problem. The members also mentioned that most of the problems facing families are related to financial statues.

Any member of this committee who is absent for if he does not show enough commitment, he will be banished from membership so this makes a great responsibility on the committee members when compared to other committees.

The committee members also commented that the judge of Domestic Violence Investigation Court takes the reports into great account as a source of adjudication.

Another positive point of this committee is, we the parties reach a compromise and reconcile, thus they are immediately transferred to the court, in order to close their lawsuits, which is so important because most of the times the lawsuits have ended and the sides reconciled but the lawsuits is not transferred immediately but transferred after some days to the court, the parties are warned and it makes the issue to be repeated, as it has happened in most of other provinces as we have presented in the report.

 

*Statistics of reconciliation committee

As organization’s team we tried a lot to receive the statistics of the reconciliation committee, form the director of the family counseling center, whom in the same time is the member of the reconciliation committee, they promised us to send the statistics by emails, in order to be able to evaluate their affairs, but we did not receive any statistic. Later out representative in Duhok visited them again, but he was informed that they cannot give us any statistic, therefore we can only receive from the website of General Directorate of Standing-against Violence against Women. Whenever you check the website you find there are no statistics of the committee, but the statistics are presented generally, so we could not obtain any data or statistics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of activities

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WOLA’s visit to Domestic Counseling Center and Reconciliation Committee/   Duhok

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                   WOLA’s visit to Domestic Violence Courts/Duhok

Fourth/ Halabja Governorate

  1. Directorate of Halabja Police Department

Up to this minute there is no center or directorate named as Domestic Violence directorate or center in Halabja, but it is rather the directorate of Halabja Police Department follows up all lawsuits concerned with domestic violence that is not proper neither with the nature of the lawsuits nor with the law of standing-against domestic violence.

The Center of Halabja Governorate includes one police directorate and one police station called as Shahid Sarkar Police Station. The duties of this province are divided in between the police directorate and the police station, in a way that the work of the eastern side are performed by the Directorate of Halabja Police Department, and the work of the western side of Halabja are carried out by Shahid Sarkar Police Station, as below:

 

  1. The Directorate of Police Department/ all violence committed in Halabja province and its sub-districts that includes: Sirwan, Khurmal, Byara, Tawella, and Bamo are filed up to this directorate and registered monthly as data and statistics.
  2. There exist two police stations in Halabja’s city center, which are: Halabja Police Station, and Shahid Sarkar Police Station.

 

*Halabja Police Station/ all violence and domestic issues from the eastern side of Halabja province is directed to this station. There are two investigation rooms in this station where two commissioned officers look into the lawsuits.

 

*Shahid Sarkar Police Station/ all violence and domestic issues from the western side of Halabja province is directed to this station. There are two investigation rooms in this station where two commissioned officers look into the lawsuits.

 

 

**The Method of Investigation in the Directorate of Halabja Police Department in Lawsuits related to Domestic Violence.

Whenever an incident of domestic violence occurs, the person is ought to file a complaint against the defendant. An officer or inspector will receive the complaint right away and the plaintiff’s disposition will be recorded and presented to the judge. The lawsuits will be kept private.

If a woman is being under any type of threat having no safe place to go to, then the judge will be notified about this situation. Later, this woman whose life is in danger will be sent to the women’s shelter in As Sulaymaniyah after concluding the investigation procedures.

 

**All the sub-districts within the boarder of this governorate are:

Each one of Halabja’s sub-districts: Tawella, Byara, Sirwan, Khurmal, and Bamo have their own police station. All duties of those stations are transferred to the Directorate of Halabja Police Department.

(Tawella) Tawella Police Station.

(Byara) Byara Police Station.

(Khurmal) Khurmal Police Station.

(Sirwan) Sirwan Police Station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Special Court for the bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence.

Up to this minute there is neither an Investigation Court nor a Misdemeanor Court specified for domestic issues, while in other cities of Kurdistan region there exists courts for domestic violence and this is against the bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence. According to act (one) in article (three) in the law states that: a court specified to Standing-against Domestic Violence must be established according to judicial power number (23) in 2007.

But despite this legal text in the law of Standing-against Domestic Violence, beside the fact that Halabja has become a governorate, until now there is not any court specified to domestic violence’s lawsuits. This consequently risks the advancement and the implementation of the bylaw, and this denotes that there are no efforts to implement the bylaw despite its importance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Reconciliation committee

    In 2013 a reconciliation committee was ordered to be established within Halabja court, this committee has assigned: Mondays and Wednesdays to look into domestic lawsuits that are transferred to them by the judge. After sitting and listening to the tow parties of the lawsuit, the committee will write their own report on the lawsuit and present it to the judge. Later the judge will give his verdict upon the lawsuit depending on the report, which might be either close the lawsuit or transfer it to the specified court.

     

     

        

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Halabja Governorate Statistics for Halabja Governorate and its sub0districts: Sirwan, Khurmal, Tawella and Byraw) Districts:

Police Stations, Courts, and Reconciliation Committees

  1. Police Stations Statics:

These statistics include not only domestic violence, but also lawsuits that are not related to domestic violence. This is due to the lack of any directorate or offices concerned with domestic abuses in Halabja Governorate!

 

The last recorded lawsuit of February is a lawsuit against family violence that related to a woman and mother-in-law issues.

February Statistics

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Education

Police Station

Causes

Outcome

1

61

Housewife

7

Illiterate

Khurmal

Self-immolation

 

 

 

 

 

The last recorded lawsuits of March are (3) lawsuit of domestic violence that are related to self-immolation:

 

March Statistics

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Education

Police Station

Causes

Outcome

1

36

Housewife

7

Literate

Khurmal

 

 

 

 

The last recorded lawsuits of April are (2) lawsuits against domestic violence that related to: physical harassment and infliction injuries, verbal abuses and honor related accusations).

April lawsuits

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Education

Police Station

Outcome

4

36

28

Housewife

7

Literate

Khurmal

Sirwan

 

 

The last recorded lawsuits of May are (5) lawsuits against domestic violence that related to: assaults, use force to leave the house, verbal abuses, negligence, threats by the use of guns.

 

May Lawsuits:

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Education

Police Station

Outcome

5

36

28

46

27

25

Housewife

7

1 Illiterate

4 Literate

(4)Halabja

(1)Shahid Sarkar

(1) Transferred to the court

(1) Closed

(2) Charge Dropped

(1) Ongoing lawsuits

 

The last recorded lawsuits of May are (4) lawsuits against domestic violence that related are to: sexual violence, verbal abuses, life threatening, and self-immolation.

 

 

May Lawsuits:

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Police Station

Outcome

5

(20-32)

Housewife

7

400

(2) Halabja

(1) Sirwan

(1) Khurmal

2 year imprisonments

2 Charges Dropped

 

The last recorded lawsuits of June are (6) lawsuits against domestic violence that are related to: violence, verbal abuses, threatening with knife and guns, marrying a second wife, taking away children, honor accusations.

June Lawsuits:

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Police Station

Outcome

6

24

16

30

35

34

44

4 Housewives

1 student

7

421

2 Halabja

1 Sirwan

1 Khurmal

1 Shahid Sarkar

 

 

The last recorded lawsuits of July are (2) lawsuits against domestic violence that are related to forcing out of house, and verbal abuses.

July Lawsuits:

Lawsuit

Age

Occupation

Legal Act

Police Station

Outcome

2

32

14

 

(1) Housewife

(1) Teacher

7

 

(2) Halabja

(1) Shahid Sarkar

 

 

 

Table of violence against Women in the Police Department- Halabja Governorate for August 2016

Age

Education

Occupation

Crime

Legal Act

Police Station

Crime Scene

Summary of the Crime

Outcome

22

Secondary

Student

Domestic violence

7

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused harassed the plaintiff

Ongoing lawsuits

19

Secondary

Student

Abusing

432

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused was in relationship with the plaintiff, and threatens to release private photos of her in case of refusing to marry him

Ongoing lawsuits

24

High School

Student

Family violence

7

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused is the husband of plaintiff He has beaten her and drove her out of house

Ongoing lawsuits

26

Basic

Housewife

Honor accusation

433

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Mamostayan

The accused is the husband of the plaintiff who accused her and her sister of adultery

Ongoing lawsuits

29

Basic

Housewife

Honor accusation

433

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Mamostayan

The accused is the husband of the plaintiff who accused her and her sister of adultery

Ongoing lawsuits

17

Secondary

Student

Beating and verbal abuse

433

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Mamostayan

The accused is the brother of the plaintiff. He has assaulted her bath physically and verbally

Ongoing lawsuits

16

basic

housewife

Assaulting and threatening

7

Halabja

Halabja/Marzaboto

The accused if the father of the plaintiff. He has assaulted her bath physically and verbally

Ongoing lawsuits

55

Illiterate

housewife

Disappearance of the plaintiff’s daughter

7

Halabja

Halabja/Kani Ashqan

The accused is the son-in-law of the plaintiff. At the time of pressing the charges the plaintiff’s daughter has been missing for two days. There is speculations that the accused might have committed crimes against her

Ongoing lawsuits

28

Literate

Student

Suicide attempt

-

Khurmal

Khurmal/Dalani

Her father tried to force her into marrying

Ongoing lawsuits

28

Literate

housewife

Verbal abuses

7

Sirwan

Sirwan

The accused is the husband of the plaintiff. He has abused her verbally

Ongoing lawsuits

Total

Ten lawsuits of crimes all of which against women between (16-55) years of age.

 

 

Table of Violence against Women in Police Department- Halabja Governorate for September 2016

 

Age

Education

Occupation

Crime

Legal Act

Police Station

Crime Scene

Summary of the Crime

Outcome

17

Secondary

student

Family violence

7

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused harassed the plaintiff

Ongoing lawsuits

35

Secondary

housewife

Verbal abuse

7

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused abused the plaintiff with the accusation of fornication

Ongoing lawsuits

17

High School

Student

Family violence

7

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused is the husband of plaintiff He has beaten her along with verbal abuses

Ongoing lawsuits

19

Basic

Housewife

Family violence

-

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Sharawany

The accused is the husband of the plaintiff who assaulted his-in-laws house and took the children with the threat of never letting her to see them again.

Ongoing lawsuits

 

32

Basic

Housewife

Honor accusation

433

Shahid Sarkar

Halabja/ Mamostayan

The accused is the husband of the plaintiff who accused her and her sister of adultery

Ongoing lawsuits

Total

5 lawsuits of crimes all of which against women between (17-35) years of age.

 

Total lawsuits of violence against women from January to September 2016 were 36 lawsuits.

The plaintiff’s gender: Female

Domestic Violence: 28

Other issues: 8

Ongoing lawsuits: 17

 

*What do these statistics tell us?

  1. They show that violence against women in Halabja governorate is of high level! There is no doubt that there are incidents that are not reported. Hence, it is necessary to take immediate actions to address the issue and find proper ways to deal with.
  2. The lawsuits mostly are in within family context. The plaintiffs are all females, and it is 36 lawsuits to be precise. This statics makes it crucial to have a program to educate families about women’s rights and better ways to resolve their problems. Also to change the perspective of males towards a better treatment of women in families and outside.
  3. The ongoing lawsuits of family violence are too slow to be resolved. In a total of 36 lawsuits, 17 ones have not been closed. Another problem is that 12 of them are not clear or completely identified!It is very important to settle domestic lawsuits quickly because delaying them will the risk of family disintegration will be higher and might cause more problems in the society.

 

  1. The Courts’ Statistics

Total lawsuits

Ongoing

Closed

22

15

7

 

 

  1. Reconciliation Committee’s Statistics

Due to boycotts in February no lawsuit has been filed.

In March: Only (3) lawsuits were examined of 2 females and 1 male. Two of these lawsuits have resulted in reconciliation. The other is ongoing because the committee members are not present. Two of the lawsuits were social issues the other was a divorce. 

 

Lawsuits

Gender

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Ongoing

Cause

Reason for the lawsuits

3

(2) females

(1) male

2

-

1

No attendance

Social issues and divorce

 

In April: Only (3) lawsuits has been examined: 1 females and 2 males. One of these lawsuits has resulted in reconciliation. There was no reconciliation in the other lawsuits. The causes for the lawsuits were: social Issue, misuse of technology, and interference from the family.

Lawsuits

Gender

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Ongoing

Cause

Reason for the lawsuits

3

(1) females

(2) male

 

2

-

 

Social Issue, Misuse of technology, and interference from the family

 

In May: Only (6) lawsuits has been examined, 1 females and 5 males. Two of these cases have resulted in reconciliation. There was no reconciliation in the other lawsuits. The causes for the lawsuits were: feud over lands, divorce, debt and violence between father and son.

Lawsuits

Sex

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Ongoing

Cause

Age

Reason for the lawsuits

6

1 female

4 male

1

3

2

No attendance

30- 50

Feud over land, divorce, debt and violence between father and son.

 

In June: Only (9) lawsuits has been examined, 5 females and 4 males. None of these lawsuits has resulted in reconciliation. Two of them are ongoing due to not absence of the committee members. The causes for the lawsuits were: sexual Assault, divorce, child custody, and misuse of mobile phones.

Lawsuits

Gender

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Ongoing

Cause

Age

Reason for the lawsuits

9

(5) female

(4) male

-

7

2

Time needed for reconsideration

20-40

Sexual assault, divorce, child custody, and misuse of mobile phones.

 

In July: Only (3) lawsuits has been examined, 1 female and 2 males. Two of these lawsuits have resulted in reconciliation. There was no reconciliation in the other. The reasons for the lawsuits were: an attempt of self-immolation and divorce.

Lawsuits

Sex

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Ongoing

Reason

Age

Reason for the lawsuits

3

(2) females

1 male

2

1

-

-

30-35

elf-immolation attempt and divorce.

 

In August: Only (8) lawsuits has been seen, 3 females and 5 males. Two of these  lawsuits have resulted in reconciliation. There was no reconciliation in the other. The causes for the lawsuits were: divorce, beating and violence, self-burning attempt.

Lawsuits

Gender

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Cause

Age

Reason for the lawsuits

8

3 female

5 male

2

-

-

25- 40

Divorce, beating and violence, attempt of self-immolation

 

 

In September: Only (5) lawsuits has been examined, 3 females and 2 males. Three of these lawsuits have resulted in reconciliation. The other two are ongoing. The reasons for the lawsuits were: divorce, child custody, lack of financial support.

 

Lawsuits

Sex

Reconciled

No reconciliation

Reason

Age

Reason for the lawsuits

8

3 female

2 male

3

2

-

25-35

Divorce, child custody, finance providing.

 

Total of Lawsuits from January to September 2016, Recorded by the Reconciliation Committee

Gender

Closed

Ongoing

36

18 females

18 male

12

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-9d4ea87f19ed74ba80c55f0fb03ecfd0d39ff05353e31657c19e88534118425e-V.jpgActivity Pictures of Halabja governorate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-54a98b2cdac13c20e4e0a50e87662e3e6422f9cc4a5bdf0ba1f94716a890ba3a-V.jpgWOLA Representative meeting detective officer at Sirwan Police Station

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Byara Police Station

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Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-338c020cd6f0a13f4d0978e48ac88ad2e63043e8b1545861c07300625290bbe4-V.jpgWOLA Representative meeting detective officer at Khurmal Police Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halabja Governorate Police Station

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-bd7a1ed5ddb1dc865d3b99f96ca20f4b92aa58353481993e62b25f52f4318bfc-V.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-bf2a937ed62ded6d9f33e8941600ae0e516fc762310a1396f700d901fd815fe7-V.jpg                               Shahid- Sarkar Police Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA Representative meeting Head of Khurmal Police Station

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Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\sakar\image-0-02-05-4758f84e2807a3f338c200ceca45999eddaaa375f413bc5f18701d09f36513d2-V.jpg

 

 

 

 

City Centre Police Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directorate of Khurmal District

Fifth: Garmyan District

In this report, we have tried to broaden our monitoring in Garmyan. Thus, not only did we monitor Kalar district, but also we extend our activities to Kfri and Khanaqin districts.

  1. Kfri District:

In Kfri there is a center with an investigation unit along with a judge, in cooperation with the court and police.

“Problems are rising continually! We have tried not to let the current economic crisis affect our duties” the manager of Kfri office commented. Problems include: beating, killing, suicide and burning (6 lawsuits). Our center has provided legal awareness for the refugees in the area’ stated the director of the Kifri office.

 

  1. Khanaqin

Khanaqin center includes: administration, legal service, statistics, IT, investigation, mobilization and crime.  

On August 28, 2016 we visited the center of resisting violence against women.  What was noticed was that most of the people in Khanaqin did not know this center! The people at the center talked about their problem, of which they had only one car and they did not have an investigator specialized in their area of work.

 

Upon meeting with the director of the center, he stated saying “We only have only one car and there is only one investigator shared with the police station and the court!”

We asked him how is the situation when they are part of Dyala operating under Act 8 of the Iraqi government laws on family violence, he said “We have an arrangement with the court, they are enacting the same law with the lawsuits of domestic violence. In Khanaqin the act is well been enabled.”

     

Upon meeting with the judge of the court of Standing-against Domestic Violence: “According to the statistics of the lawsuits at hands, women have come to trust the law to resolve their lawsuits. We have many lawsuits in which women and girls have been prevented to go to school because of: fathers, brothers or husbands. Many of them were able to go back to school due to the court decisions.”

We asked if divorce rates have increased, because of women’s file charges against their husbands? The judge commented saying: “I feel that men have increased their awareness that women have the right to file charges. Luckily, we had many lawsuits where women charged their husband, yet after the cases closed they reconciled, and divorce cases where women file lawsuits against their husbands have decreased.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Garmyan Reconciliation Committee

On the 6/ 6/ 2016 the Reconciliation Committee have gone through some change. The legal staff has changed and new lawyers replace the previous staff.

On 6/ 6/ 2016 they examined two cases.

On 30/ 8/ 2016 this committee examined 6 lawsuits, where they were filed against: husbands, fathers, and uncles.

Payman is a 39 years old married woman who is sterile. Her husband forced her out of the house and married a second wife

Ali, who is 29 years old man, filed charges against his father-in-law accusing him of beating his child. The legal staff tried to persuade him to drop the charges, but he refused and took the case to the court.

A woman named P. N. S. was physically abused. She insisted that her husband must receive punishment from the court. She had evidence from the hospital to support her claim. The cases later on were sent to the court.

One 14/ 6/ 2016 the Reconciliation Committee examined two lawsuits; one of them is between a husband and a wife, while the other was of a man accusing his uncle of property dispute.

Note: Today’s session was supposed to start at 9am, but instead it start at 11am, while the parties related to these lawsuits were waiting since 9am. There was not much enthusiasm about this committee and people complained a lot.

A woman who filed a lawsuit against her husband said “What of the court and law? I wish I have not filed charges. They are playing us like dolls! It has been a year and half since my husband has beaten and divorced me, now they are telling me to forgive him!!”

A man of a similar experience said: “because of my claim, my wife is making troubles against me. My in-laws support her and they assaulted my house. They have beaten and injured me! I am fed up with this coming and going without settling our case. Where do you find such instance to have waited for hours then be told to leave we do not have enough time. Come back next week”

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Garmyan District Statistics
  1. Reconciliation Committee:

Form January 1st-August 1st , 2016

Total Cases

Closed

Ongoing

35

25

10

 

  1. Court of Standing-against Domestic Violence Investigation:

Form January 1st-August 1st, 2016

Total Cases

Closed

Ongoing

Sent to specialized court

98

11

84

4

 

3- Kalar Office Statistics

Form Jan 1st- August 1st, 2016

Total Cases

Female’s Claims

Male’s Claim

124

83

37

% 83

% 37

 

What do these statistics tell us?

1. Looking at the claims they show that domestic violence has increased.

2. Most victims are women that can be seen as a proof that women’s rights are violated at a noticeable scale.

3. Prolonging the cases at the courts has affected families with the risk of family disintegration are high. Thus, the court should hasten to settle cases that might affect entire families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\بةدرية - Copy.jpgActivity Photos

 

 

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\مافي مروفي كةرميان.jpgWOLA Representative meeting a victim of Domestic violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA Representative meeting the manager of Directorate of Human Rights in Garmyan

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Description: C:\Users\Ahmao\Desktop\بةريوبةري نوسينكةي خانقين.jpgWOLA Representatives meeting the judge of Standing-against Domestic Violence Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA Representative meeting the head of Khanaqin Center

  1. Bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence and Manslaughter Cases:

The bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence states in Article 1- Act 3 that “Domestic violence includes any: action, speech or threat based on social nature against individuals, within the scope of family either related to marriage or blood relationship up to the fourth degree, or those who come within the scope of family by law, that might cause physical or mental harm, or abuse and limit their rights and freedom”

A problem appeared when the law was legislated, as related to “manslaughter” that lead to some complications. Did the offices and courts related to the bylaw of Standing-against Domestic Violence pay special attention to the distinctiveness of these lawsuits?

The Court of Cassation with the formal document number 62, 2016 on August 7th, 2016 that they have sent to Court of Investigation in Erbil, has settled this issue. It stated that killing lawsuits are not the concern of Domestic Violence Courts. This is because these courts are to investigate domestic disputes and violence and help resolve these lawsuits and may bring reconciliation. Another reason is that the sentences these courts verdict are for not more than 3 years, thus it cannot be applicable to the cases of manslaughter that according to the Iraqi laws the sentence would be execution. This decree is for all Kurdistan Region and is applicable with no distinctions.

The head of Eastern Office in As Sulaymaniyah and judges of the domestic violence court in Hawler and Duhok are all advocating for this decree. This is deemed as a better way to deal with lawsuits of manslaughter. Police stations can better handle this sort of situations as they have enough expertise, as there is limited recourse and personnel in offices related to domestic violence. That is why the reported case that brought to the offices and those courts are directly transferred to (104) which is the number to contact when police is needed for similar situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Survey

After 6 years of the passing of family violence law, and its monitoring on the part of our organization along raising awareness of the bylaw, we deemed it essential to conduct a survey in our current report.

The goal of the survey is to know to what extend people are aware of the law and the extent of their agreement on its enabling and the parties concerned with its application.

The survey distributed 300 forms in: Erbil, Halabja, As Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, and Garmyan District, but only 153 forms were returned! Most of the questions in these form were not answered that was the result of either that those people did not visit the committees or because their lawsuits has not been transferred to courts... etc. the previous was the reason that there is a diversity in the outcomes among different questions.

 

  1. Age of the participant:

18-25

85 people

26-50

68 people

 

  1. Resident

Governorate

78 people

District

48 people

Town

27 people

Village

-

 

Question: How much information do you have on the bylaw of domestic violence?

No Information

A little Information

Quite Aware

92

40

21

% 60,13

% 26,14

% 13,73

 

Here, it is obvious that the extent of the awareness about the bylaw is not compatible with the importance of the bylaw itself. This proves that there is not enough effort is implemented to raise people’s awareness, something that the bylaw itself was not given enough importance to be implemented by the Ministry of interior and other governmental offices should have done by asking expertise to carry out this task following act 7 of article 3 of the law.

It is also utterly necessary that the government along with different NGOs promote for this awareness. Though some steps have been taken, but the survey shows further effort is required. Despite the efforts implement by WOLA, in cooperation with the bylaw’s monitors, by holding a special seminar related to this matter around the year, yet according to the outcomes of this survey there is much more to be done.

 

Question: Do you have any information about Domestic Violence Courts?

No Information

A little Information

Quite Aware

76

50

25

% 50,33

% 33,11

% 16,55

 

Thus we notice that, just like the bylaw itself, people are not quite familiar with the Domestic Violence Court that may be a reason why the victims could not receive justice while facing such violence!

Thus, spreading awareness is the responsibility related governmental offices and different NGOs to show the importance of this bylaw. Similar measures should be taking to present this court of the public detailing: what are its duties? How are they implemented? How the victims of domestic violence can benefit from this bylaw, and would be able to get their rights within the judicial power of this court.

 

Question: Have the reconciliation committees been able to support and help solve your problem?

No

A little Information

Quite Aware

55

56

29

% 39,26

% 40

% 20,71

 

Here is somehow clear that the committee needs more effort to improve its performance. They should be provided with experts in domestic issues. Those experts must be provided enough and finance to carry their job regularly and be bounded to their moral obligation, that might help reconciliation and save families of disintegration.

Question: What sort of violence have you faced?

Psychological

Physical

Sexual

99

69

5

% 57,22

% 39,88

% 2,89

 

Observing the answers given, many faced psychological violence like humiliation and insult… etc. Hence, a greater focus should be placed on psychological abuse and violence of the victims.

Question: To what extend judges and people at the Domestic Violence courts helped to resolve your case?

No

Somehow

Supportive all the way

29

48

15

% 31,52

% 52,17

% 16,30

 

In the above table we notice that Domestic Violence Courts could not help to solve people’s issues. Also at the same time, these courts should be provided with enough support in terms of materials and personnel.

Question: Were your sessions private?

Yes

No

62

63

% 49,6

% 50,4

 

Lack in numbers of the courts made it obligatory to go to the courts of inquiry, in which most cases are public. The problem with those courts is in both building and their functioning nature made it hard to keep the privacy of the lawsuits as the answers shows.

Question: Who used violence against you?

Husband

Wife

Father

Mother

Son

Brother

In-Laws

Other Relatives

45

5

7

2

3

11

14

15

% 37,5

%4,16

% 5,8

%1,6

% 2,5

% 9,1

%11,6

% 16,30

 

The table above shows that males used violence more than females. Further educational and awareness courses should be prepared and presents all over the region. That might help ease the tension and expanding the understanding of women rights with a more moderate viewpoint.

 

Question: How long has your lawsuit been in the court?

1-3 Months

3-6 Months

6- 12 Months

More that 1 year

28

18

19

5

% 40

% 25,71

% 27,14

%7,14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Recommendations and Suggestions

Based on our observations of the bylaw, we present the below recommendations and suggestions. Answering and applying these might help improve the effects of the bylaw in resolving the issues and structure a better society:

 

  1. Appointing female detective officers for Police Stations in Halabja.
  2. Building courts for domestic violence in all the governorates and districts.
  3. Spreading awareness concerning the bylaw in Kurdistan Region with ample budget.
  4. Supplying the centers with: cars, policemen, and employees.
  5. Accelerating the speed of accomplishing domestic cases in courts with proper resolution that benefits both the society and families.
  6. Helping and improving the reconciliation committees with needs and expertise.
  7. Increasing the number of centers for the directorates of opposing violence against women in both As Sulaymaniyah and Erbil.
  8. Providing a special budget for: courts, directorates, and centers.

 

 

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