WOLA Reports
A Report for Monitoring the Implementation of the Domestic Violence Law

Contents

 

  • -Introduction
  • -The procedures of filing lawsuits by the victims of family violence

     

    First – Slemani Governorate

  • -In response, Her Excellency said, “The problem is that all kinds of women are put in this place.” And she added, “Visiting Garmian Shelter, I found out it was bad. In Slemani Shelter I discussed with each case and they all had legal problems.Hawler Shelter has place problem as it is small and is next to Autism Center.And Duhok Shelter has a very good and organized building, as it was attributed to their administration.Allocations for the shelters’ petty expenses are very few.”
  • -Also, Her Excellency referred to that working with the organizations is very important as some of them fund the Shelters.Besides, we informed Her Excellency that working on the Sozi Daruni Hospital is important.Furthermore, we explained that if a patient is committed to the hospital, she should have a companion.But there are women, in the Shelters, who need to be committed to Sozi Daruni Hospital but do not have companions.So, this is a problem.Her Excellency referred to that they could separate a place for family problems in Slemani Shelter but if the types of victims are mixed, it will reflect badly on them.We also informed Her Excellency that we have a plan to launch a campaign for having a special Shelter for family problems and Her Excellency found it reasonable.
  1. Ministry of Work and Social Affairs and Shelter Houses in Kurdistan Region
  2. Directorate General of Social Monitoring and Shelter House for Threatened Women in Slemani

     

  3. Views of the Lawyers on the Law Opposing Family Violence
  4. Reconciliation Committee with Lawyers’ Membership
  5. Investigation Court for Opposing Family Violence

     

    Second – Hawler Governorate

  1. Mental Health Hospital for the Victims of Family Violence
  2. Shaqlawa District

    (Office of Opposing Violence against Family and Women)

  3. Koya District
  • -Koya Office
  • -Investigation Court for Opposing Family Violence

     

  • -Reconciliation Committee

     

    Third – Halabja Governorate

    1. Marriage
    2. Rescinding Marriage
    3. Part of WOLA Activities in Halabja Governorate

       

      Fourth – Duhok Governorate

  1. Directorate of Opposing Violence against Family and Women

     

  2. Duhok Office
  3. Nzarke Office
  4. Investigation Court for Family Violence and the Law Opposing Family Violence
  5. Zakho District

    ( Zakho Office )

     

    Fifth – Garmian Administration

  1. Directorate for Opposing Violence against Family and Women
  2. The Obstacles in the Way of Implementing the Law

     

  3. Kalar Office
  4. Shelter
  5. Investigation Court for Family Violence
  6. Family counsel center
  7. Kfri Office

     

    Sixth – Raparin Administration

  1. Ranya Office
  2. Shelter
  3. Hotline
  4. Investigation Court

     

    Seventh – Questionnaire

    Eighth – Statistics…

    Nineth – Recommendations  

    Introduction

    We as WOLA bore the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of the law opposing family violence since its issuance under the auspices of American NED.  Due to the significance and necessity for the law for Kurdish community we notably gave attention to the governorates at the beginning of our monitoring.  After some years passed the issuance of the law and many of our reports were disseminated on monitoring the law, we attempted to expand our monitoring limits more and cover those places that we did not monitor so far. 

     

    To this end we paid visits to many districts of the governorates and monitored the implementation of the law, as it was referred to them in this report, in order for us to know how the level of the law implementation is in those places and at what level it is.  Also, our visits to the mentioned places aimed at determining the difficulties and obstacles in the way of implementing the law in the places where the monitoring covered and providing statistics of those places in question. 

    Above all, we could conduct a widespread questionnaire in many places of the region on the law opposing family violence and the performances of the committees and courts for family violence in order for us to know to what extent the citizens are familiar with the law after the law issuance passed many years, to what extent attention was given to legal awareness and to what extent the victims of family violence are content with works of the courts of family violence and reconciliation committees.

    In the end, as the difficulties and obstacles were revealed to us while monitoring the law in the different places, we provided the relevant authorities with many important recommendations and propositions, hoping that they would benefit from them and work on them so as to address the difficulties and obstacles in the way of implementing the law or at least decrease them so that the law can be effective as it should be. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The procedures of filing lawsuits by the victims of family violence

     

     

    When someone faces a family violence and wants to file a lawsuit, they should follow some procedures as follows:

  1. First the person writes a complaint letter and goes to one of the offices for opposing violence against family and women, where there is a section for mental and social law services.At first the issue is directed to the mentioned section and the person is instructed according to their problem as there are experts there.If the person has legal problem, they will be legally instructed.And if the person has mental problem, they will be mentally instructed.And they will be socially instructed likewise.
  2. The person who submits the complaint letter is asked if they want their problem be referred to the court or not.If they are not willing to refer their problem to the court, it will be referred to Reconciliation.There they will try to solve their problem based on the law.Many times, the offices and directorates make contacts with the respondent.If the respondent is willing to listen, they will try to reconcile the parties.Many times, the problem will be put to an end and solved at this point with a report informing the directorate.But if the problem were not solved here or the parties were not willing to listen, it will be referred to the court.
  3. Then all those issues of article 7 that are of family will be referred to the reconciliation committee by the order of the court in an attempt to reconcile the parties and solve the problems.This committee includes a mental and social researcher, a lawyer and a religious mullah who are changed according to the cities. This committee attempts to solve the problems and reconcile the parties.
  4. If the committee could reconcile the parties, the lawsuit would be dropped.And if they couldn’t, they would submit their report to the court, stating that they could not solve the problem.
  5. Later the court starts investigating the lawsuit and receiving the evidences including the witness(es).If there is sufficient evidence, the lawsuit will be referred to the court of misdemeanor to trial and punish the accused.
  6. If the plaintiff could prove their case at the court of misdemeanor, the defendant will be punished by imprisonment for the period of not less than 6 months and not more than 3 years and by a fine of not less than ID 1,000,000 and not more than ID 5,000,000 or by one of these two punishments.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Slemani Governorate

  1. Ministry of Work and Social Affairs and Shelter Houses in Kurdistan region

     

    • - We as WOLA visited the Minister of Work and Social Affairs and had a meeting with Her Excellency.During the meeting we had discussion about some topics and explained the work and activities of WOLA to her and stated that we have a project on the method of implementing the law opposing family violence and that we as WOLA want to determine the drawbacks through this project and convey them to the relevant authorities for the purpose of addressing them.

       

      WOLA staff members meet with Her Excellency the Minister of Work and Social Affairs of Kurdistan region

       

       

       

       

      And we informed Her Excellency that we want to work on having a place or a house of shelter for family problems not in the way that is used to be.

       

       

       

 

 

  1. Directorate General of Social Monitoring and Shelter House for threatened women in Slemani

     

    To make preparations for an extensive work and launch a campaign for improving the Shelters’ situation and understanding their problems and difficulties, we paid a visit to the Director General of Social Monitoring and the Manager of Shelter House for Threatened Women in Slemani.  First, to pay a visit to the Shelter House for Threatened Women, we submitted a letter to the Directorate General of Social Monitoring to approve of the visit to Shelter and our legal service to them.  After we made discussion with the Director General of Social Monitoring and informed him about the work and activities of WOLA and our project under the auspices of American NED, he offered his cooperation and coordination.  And after we got permission, we visited Shelter House for Threatened Women in Slemani.  The House Manager referred to that they contact the organizations based on requirements that when legal services are required.  Also, he stated that there are women who come to the Shelter should be committed to Sozi Daruni Hospital as they have mental health problems.  But the Hospital prevents their admission as the subjects don’t have relatives while the Shelter has social researchers who can accompany them.  Furthermore, he lashed out that why they are questioned when they admit a case but Sozi Daruni Hospital is not questioned.  Moreover, he said that a woman with mental health problem is referred to a medical committee by the judge’s decision.  Then the committee is summoned in front of the judge to decide whether the case to be committed to Sozi Daruni Hospital.  But this procedure is not materialized. 

     

    Regarding separating part of Shelter to the family problems, he said that the structure of Shelter was laid out in a way that they cannot split it as it is costly and they attempted in the past but they failed.  Also, he mentioned that one of their problems was shortages of monitors and after many efforts they could increase the number of their monitors from the Peshmarga Women Forces.  They set up a (4) day training session for the new employees on how to deal with the cases, what the monitor face if they don’t keep the case’s information confidential and emergency.  Then he mentioned that the judge of the investigation court for opposing family violence is a good cooperator who visited them. 

     

    Later he mentioned that they have a problem which is that a case which was closed without being settled.  Therefore, a woman with a closed case does not know to whom she should submit her request letter to leave the place.  For example, if she gives up her complaint, the case will be closed but without being settled. 

     

    To this end we paid a visit to the President of the Court of Appeal of Slemani Area and requested him not to close the related case unless it is settled and to send letter to the outside courts and other judges to cooperate with us.

     

    Then Manager mentioned that they had mental health problem cases and committed them to Sozi Daruni Hospital.  And they don’t have homeless cases for the time being other than one case which has Schizophrenia and who is very silent and without problem.  Next, he mentioned that risk allowances should be allocated for the employees of this place, which is one of the problems, and seminars should be presented to the cases in order for them to have social, mental and legal awareness and how to behave and speak when they are present in front of the court.  So, we as WOLA showed our readiness to present those seminars to the Shelter cases and employees. 

     

    Therefore, as WOLA we decided to open legal awareness training for the cases regarding their being present in front of the court and their answering to the questions of the court.                

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WOLA manager and staff members meet with the Director General of Social Monitoring and Shelter House for Threatened Women in Slemani.

     

     

  2. Views of the Lawyers on the law opposing family violence

     

    As WOLA we found it necessary to have the views of the lawyers on the law opposing family violence, the drawbacks of this law and their suggestions for better implementing the law as the lawyers play an important role at the courts, settling the cases, working on the laws, discerning the drawbacks of the law, highlighting on the drawbacks and addressing them.  Thus, we found their views indispensable. 

     

  • First we started having a statement of a female lawyer who practices law at Slemani court:

     

    She mentioned that the law opposing family violence is necessary for our community.  It was very good in the past but like other laws it needs to be amended in parallel with social development.  Regarding this law, as it is within the framework of a family which is here more run by social parameters and education, its implementation faces many obstacles.  Therefore, some families and the community in general accept this law with difficulty.  Notwithstanding, the law needs to be amended in a way that the drawbacks at the time of its implementation could be addressed.  And efforts could made to organize family relationship with law. 

     

  • How the law can be actually implemented?

     

    She said that regarding actual implementation of the law, in fact it appears to be a greater loss for women.  The family violence offices should have been looked like hospitals in the implementation of the law and should have been organized for solving family violence persistently.  And they should have solved the problems not like the courts, i.e. efforts for solving the problems should be made until it is unsolvable.  After that complaint letters can be prepared and presented to the court for trial.  But if the problem became bigger and even if the plaintiff gave up her lawsuit, they will be punished at least by fines, for example fines of transports.  

     

  • What is your suggestion for better implementing the law?

     

    She referred to that there are many suggestions for the government and parliament.  For example, when a motion for a law amendment is drafted resources should be obtained from the courts and organizations, then it can go to parliament not the other way around that the parliament draft the motion then the courts merely implement it and the reconciliation committee is behind and even in some crimes the it is nonexistent.  And female genital mutilation is discussed in one article whereas its law, article, crime and punishment should have been looked like any other crime laws or other laws whose articles and crimes hav different punishment seperately.  And when protection right is given a place should be set for the person on the same date by a court’s decision i.e. the accused and their relatives should be summoned, a place should be set and the time for returning to home should be set with the consent of both parties. And a governmental foundation should be established for supervising children even if it is for the time being as the government’s responsibility for protecting family individuals and children will solve many problems.        

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  1. Reconciliation Committee with Lawyers’ Membership

 

A lawyer who is a member of Reconciliation Committee mentioned that the article (5) of the law talks about sending the complainants to Reconciliation Committee after the investigation is finished and before referring them to a special court.  This will not be very beneficial although having a Reconciliation Committee is useful.  As when the investigation is finished the parties who are angrier with each other already submitted evidences against each other to the court.  So, Reconciliation Committee cannot achieve its goals at the time.  Also, he said that in fact as far as he was informed good efforts had been made to implement the law, despite its drawbacks, by dint of a loyal and altruist judge of law and family.  And to some extent stability can be noticed in the law through the said judge and his tireless efforts.   

 

Regarding Reconciliation Committee he said, “As a lawyer I am a member of Reconciliation Committee of Directorate of Opposing Family Violence pertaining to Investigation Court for Family Violence.  The works of this Committee is well carried out and supervised by Family Counsel Center.  Albeit the Committee’s members exert their efforts to solve the cases of the parties, their aim is not achieved.  Often it is because the cases remained for too long in the courts and offices of family violence.  So, as the problems went bigger, the parties would not be willing to reconcile.  Or sometimes due to the notifications made by phone calls, one party might be present but the other one might not be present as their phone number might be switched off or changed.  This causes one party to be present and the other one be absent for several times.  In fact, this method of notification is legally not valid.  Therefore, I propose that prior to filing complaint or starting the investigation procedures, the case should be submitted to Reconciliation Committee.  Then the Committee will achieve its aim more.  This can be fulfilled by amending the law, which was mentioned in the article (5).  Also, as the Committee’s location is away from the city center, the parties having a case is being burdened with difficulties and forced not to be always present in front of the Committee.”    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA staff members meet with the judge of investigation court for opposing family violence.

 

 

 

Hawler Governorate

  1. Mental Health Hospital for the Victims of Family Violence

     

    Visiting Directorate of Opposing Violence against Family and Women and having first hand meetings with the Director and each Manager of the Offices of Qala, Mnara and Khabat to discuss on the latest changes in the way of implementing the law, the obstacles and the family violence victims’ situation, we found out the most important issue is the lack of a mental health hospital for the victims.  It was unanimously agreed that the lack of such a hospital in Halwler governorate caused a great problem for the relevant authorities and the victims as well. 

     

    The Director said, “The cases often need mental health hospital and we don’t know to where we transfer them to stay and get solution.  This leads such cases to be referred to

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WOLA manager and staff members meet with the Director and Managers of the Offices of Hawler and Khabat.

     

    shelter houses.  As a result, it creates big problems for their employees and other cases.”  Then he stated, “ Sozi Daruni Hospital of Slemani is related to this situation but it has  a limited capacity and does not admit every case. Therefore, establishing a big mental health hospital is indispensable and work should be done on it.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WOLA representative meets with the Head of Shaqlawa Office.

     

     

     

    Koya District

     

  • 1-Koya Office

     

    The Manager of Koya Office stated, “Our Office includes the Manager and (34) employees.  Also Taq Taq is within the district of Koya.  So, we as Koya Office have a section for this area, comprising of (8) employees.”

     

    Regarding the problems and obstacles in the way of them, the Office Manager listed the following:

     

  1. They as Koya Office do not have shortages of employees but they have a problem with the Office building as they are at a rented house and whenever the landowner needs the house they have to move out.
  2. In legal terms, the law opposing family violence has many drawbacks.But in spite of that they could solve all the problems that come to their Office, based on the law, until the law is amended.
  3. There is no any shelter house in their area where there should have been a shelter house.On the top of that they made efforts to solve the cases as far as the time was suitable, they refer their cases to Hawler Sherter House for they have a good coordination with them.And in case they receive a case in the middle of night and could not refer them to Hawler Shelter House, as they borrowed a room of employees from Koya jailhouse for needy times, they send the case there and shelter them until they complete the paper procedures.Finishing the legal procedures, they transfer the case to Hawler Shelter House.

     

     

     

     

     

  1. Investigation Court for Opposing Family Violence

     

    The Koya Office stated, “We have a good tie with the judge of Koya court.  He is hugely cooperating with us.  And as Koya has one judge for all the cases and does not have a special judge for the family problems, this led to the burdened responsibility on the shoulder of the judge of Koya for having accumulated cases.”  He said, “This is why there should be a special judge for violence against family and women in Koya district so as to expedite the works and settle the cases as soon as possible.”

     

     

  2. Reconciliation Committee

 

Koya Office Manager stated, “Based on the judge’s decision we set up a Reconciliation Committee in 2007.  It comprises of six members including:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with the Koya Office Manager.

 

 

  • A representative of the ministry of endowment and mullahs’ union.
  • A representative of ministry of work and social affairs
  • A representative of lawyers’ bar
  • A social researcher
  • A representative of mental health

 

“I as the Office Manager attend with them in most of the cases and supervise the Committee.  Moreover, Koya Office has a mobile team who continuously searches in the camps and remote areas with UNHCR to spread awareness and offer help to those who have problems so that they can be informed of the procedures and guidelines.”   

 

 

Halabja Governorate

  • 3Part of WOLA Activities in Halabja Governorate with pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WOLA organizes a seminar on how women should protect themselves at the time of facing violence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA opens an awareness training session for the villages surrounding Halabja governorate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA holds a popular counselling meeting on the problems of the citizens in Halabja governorate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA holds a meeting with the other organizations of Halabja governorate on the problems of women.

 

 

 

Duhok Governorate

 

1.    Directorate of Opposing Violence against Family and Women

 

This Directorate was established in Duhok governorate city center in 2013.  In the Duhok governorate city center there are two offices namely Nzarke Office and Duhok Office.  Also, there are 8 offices in the districts of Duhok governorate like, ( Smel, Zakho, Akre, Barderash, Amedi, Shekhan, Brayati and Shangal)

 

2.    Family counsel center

 

FCC was set up in 2013.  It has 18 experts who holds high certificates including doctorate degrees.  Up to 3 experts will be available at FCC on daily basis for the purpose of reconciling the families having problems and discussing the problems with the people having cases of violence.  At FCC more than 3 cases are received and met daily to bring about reconciliation among them.  Sometimes reconciliation gets the better of them.  And sometimes it is difficult to obtain and is not solved there, especially with cases who are underaged married girls.  The Office Manager said, “Most of the cases are registered due to marital infidelity, misunderstanding, economic problems and beating.”  Also, she stated, “Some cases are transferred to us from the court and others directly come to us.”  Then she talked about her view of the law opposing family violence and said, “The law is very good and by which the women rights are protected.  In recent years people have better understood it.” 


  

WOLA representative meets with FCC manager.

 

3.   Duhok Office

 

Regarding the cases the Office Manager said, “We currently solve most of the cases ourselves.  At this Office all kinds of complaints are filed.  And up to grade four any complaints that are related to women are filed here.”  He also said, “In this Office there are 2 female officers and 3 male officers to investigate the cases.  To begin with, the Office Manager meets with the cases to determine the type of the case.  Then the investigation officer starts investigating them.”  Then he talked about that they are at work 24 hours a day to register and solve the cases.  Also, he said that even after working hours he is willing to deal with any ad hoc cases either through telephone call or presence.    

 

Later he mentioned that most of the cases are registered due to marital infidelity, swear words and economic problems.  Regarding the complaints that are not filed in the Office are those that are made between man and woman after divorce, especially because of children or other issues except beating, which is registered at the Office, are filed at the police stations.

 

Afterwards he said, “The women who were under threats are secretly investigated at the time of filing complaints, if need be, so that the woman can be protected.  Or she will be transferred to Nawa Center in Duhok at her request and the investigation judge’s decision.”  Duhok Office has a very good and continuous tie with the investigation judge and the Centers for cases’ information and solution. 

 


With regard to the law opposing family violence, the Office Manager talked about his view and said, “The law is very good and is applied very well.”  Also, he said, “Currently people understood the law.  They know how to ask for their rights based on this law compared to the old times when most of them felt shame to file a complaint.” 

WOLA representative meets with Duhok Office Manager.

 

 

 


WOLA representative meets with Nzarke Office Manager.

4.    Investigation court for opposing violence in Duhok

 

The investigation judge stated, “The number of complaints increased but some types of problems dwindled.  This is due to the fact that people’s understanding broadened more.  They look at women and life differently and better consider the rights of women.”  Also, she said, “In the old times complaints were only filed for big problems as it was shame in our community for women to be seen at the offices and courts.  But nowadays women come to file complaints even for the small problems.  For example, women file complaints saying that their husbands prevent them from doing a job, wearing clothes as they wish or going out with their friends.  And there are other similar problems.”

 

With regard to the judge’s contact with the offices and centers, she said, “I am continuously in contact with them even after the working hours to help any case and victim who needs help.  And those women who were under threats we often transfer them to the Center to be protected until the situation is calmed down.  But in some cases, the women refuse to stay at the Center.  And this is due to the community’s trend and people’s gossip.  In this case we have the pledge of the other party to punish them if they violate or harm the complainants. If there is any, the complainant can file another complaint against them.” 

 

Regarding the law opposing family violence, she mentioned that the law is very good and applied very well but it needs to be amended and have its legal problems addressed.       

    

 

 


WOLA representative meets with Duhok investigation judge

5.    Zakho district

 

Zakho Office

 

Zakho Office Manager mentioned that due to the broadness of Zakho area and presence of the camps there, a huge number of complaints is filed in their Office.  Also, complaints from both subdistricts of Rzgari and Darkar, which belong to Zakho district, are filed in that Office.  Also, he said, “Any complaints related to family, even family complaints related to property and estates, will be filed in this Office.”

 

“Regarding those problems for which complaints are filed are mostly due to misunderstanding among the families and misuse of social media and communication devices.  After the complaints are filed investigations are made with the cases and efforts for reconciliation and solution are made by our Office,” he said.  “Most cases are settled by the Offices themselves without being transferred to the courts.  But if it needs be, which is very rare, they will be referred to Zakho Court.  As for reconciliation, they will be transferred to Counselling Center in Duhok.” He added.  Then he mentioned that those cases that are under threats will be sent to Nawa Center in Duhok at the request of the cases and investigation judge to protect them until the threats are removed or the cases themselves request to leave the Center, specifically when the authority is certain that they are not under any threats any more.  Then he said, “We are continuously in contact with the centers and court to follow up the cases.”          

 

 

 

 


WOLA representative meets with Zakho Office Manager.

 

 

Garmian Administration

 

1.    Directorate for Opposing Violence against family and Women

 

With regard to this Administration, their Manager said, “This has been established since 2007.  At first its works were only following up procedures. As the law was put in to practice, the Administration could deal with the cases and investigate them.”  Concerning the law opposing family violence, he pointed to a number of cases as follows:

 

1.    This law has drawbacks; therefore, it should be amended as it seems to them the works are carried out with difficulties.  For example, the article (7) of the law talks about some routines which are related to daily life like murder cases which should not be investigated by such offices for family violence and should be transferred to police stations by judge’s order.  That is, the cases of article (7) of family violence should pertain to misdemeanor court not felony court.  But they investigate those cases that belong to felony court.

 

2.    Another drawback of the law is that it did not talk about the wrongdoings committed against men in the families.  For example, this law did not mention a case in which a wife attacks her husband or marital infidelity happens.

 

 

3.    Another more drawback is that the cases should be for the investigators, i.e. in the offices of opposing family violence the misdemeanor and felony investigators should be separated from each other.  So, an investigator should view misdemeanor cases and another investigator should view felony cases.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with the Director of Directorate Opposing Violence against Family and Women in Garmian.

 

2.    The Obstacles in the Way of Implementing the Law

 

Concerning the defects of this Directorate, the Director talked about that as Directorate of Opposing Violence against Women they have some problems in the way of implementing the law as follows:

 

v  The lack of employees and an allocated building.

v  The Garmian Shelter House is not sufficient and its working hours are few.

v  The lack of a mental health hospital to be designed for the victims of family violence.

v  The lack of a hotline.  Albeit there is a special contact number at the Office in order for them to be informed of the problems, it was supposed that the line (119) would be continuously on for 24 hours.  Also, it was not made to be used in that area as it needs more than (20) employees.  Fortunately, whoever faces a problem or needs to get through to their employees can dial (119) of Slemani.  Then, they will be immediately informed of the calling and will be at hand.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with Kalar Office Manager.

 

3.    Shelter House for women in Garmian

 

This Shelter has been set up for 4 years.  It has a limited service as whoever comes to it should stay not more than 72 hours.  In some special situations and according to the decision of the family violence investigation judge the stay period of certain cases will be extended provided that the Shelter Manager approves of it. 

Those cases that come to the Shelter are mostly those who go to the offices of opposing family violence, Office (104) or other offices.  No any case will be admitted without the decision of the judge of the investigation court.  As the mentioned judge decides to transfer the case to the Shelter, an admission file will be made for her and kept there.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with Women Shelter House Manager in Garmian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with the judge of the court for opposing family violence in Kalar

 

 

6.    Garmian Family counsel center

 

“GFCC was established in 2017.  Those people who have problems and visit it will get counsel and solution their problems.  And even if their problems couldn’t be solved there, they would be followed up there after complaints are filed,” the GFCC Manager said.  Also, she pointed that whoever wants a lawyer they will provide them with a pro bono lawyer via WOLA.  Then she said that the GFCC comprises of some sections including:   

 

v  Management section:  where management affairs of GFCC is run.

v  Service section:  It is comprised of legal, social and mental sections

o   Legal section: where lawyers and legal counselling is provided.

o   Social section: where there is mediation and the parties are called to present them counselling at their own requests.

o   Mental section: It only deals with those cases that have mental problems as they identify and transfer them to Health Center with whom they are in contact and meet the cases in coordination. 

v  Awareness section: GFCC employees supervise this section. They are working on social awareness in all classes of citizens ranging from kindergarten to university students.  She also said that they continuously spread the awareness through panels, seminars and training courses from the beginning of the academic year to the end of it, especially at the time of launching campaigns of opposing violence against women.

v  Reconciliation committee section: currently it is comprised of (4) members including (2) lawyers, (1) social researcher and (1) mental researcher.  They are going to become (8) members in the near future as it was decided by Directorate General of Opposing Family Violence to increase the members to (8), of which (7) members should be employees from Family counsel center as they will be more conformed with the specified time mostly on ( Mondays and Wednesdays).  This decision is effective for expediting citizens’ issues in the Committee.  Also, the employees and Committee members think that this Committee should deal with the cases before they file complaints and involve in the investigations.  For it is the negative aspect of this law when the families are transferred to the Committee after they were broken up and separated.  Finally, a Committee member said that the problems are increasing and they are mostly resulted from threats, beating, misuse of communication devices, accusations and marital infidelity.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with GFCC Manager.

7.    Kfri Office for Opposing Family Violence

 

The ordinance for establishing this Office was issued in 2007.  But it started investigating the cases and admitting them in 2007.  Previously it just carried out follow up procedures.

 

KOOFV Manager stated that the subdistricts of Saida, Shakal, Khan, Sarqala, Kulajo, Koks and other subdistricts pertain to them.  People come to them on daily bases at the time of having family problems and file complaints and they investigate them.  Regarding the law opposing family violence, he said, “The level at which the law is being implemented is good but we recommend it to be amended as in fact it has many drawbacks.  When a law is put in to practice, life, livelihood and tradition should be put in to consideration as tradition is the source of law.  Therefore, the committee who makes the law should consider the views of some governors and professors.  As one of the great faults of this law is that it referred to examples while in fact there should not be examples in law and there should be generic and plural expression.  The law should not say that for example these are violence and confined while it should be the same as Iraqi punishment law as it does not refer to any examples.  When there are examples in the law it becomes confined and does not go beyond the examples.” 

 

Then KOOFV Manager talked about another notable fault of this law and said, “Although this law named the Law of Opposing Family Violence, in fact it is not the case.  As the law rather refers to violence against women and never refers to violence against men.  So, it is an unjust law as man and woman complete one another in the society.”

 

Concerning Family Reconciliation Committee in Kfri, KOOFV Manager said that FRC is comprised of (5) members including (2) pro bono lawyers, (1) mullah and (2) KOOFV employees who are researchers.  And the FRC meeting time is not specified as the meetings are held according to the available cases, i.e. if a case files a complaint and the investigation judge refers them to FRC, FRC meeting will be held.  And in the law, it was stipulated that an amount of ID 30,000 be spent for an FRC meeting but until now nothing was spent for them.  Regarding training session, seminars and awareness dissemination, the Manager said, “We continuously hold them in kindergartens and schools, especially in November at the time of launching a campaign on violence against women.”      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOLA representative meets with KOOFV Manager.

Raparin Administration

1.    Ranya Office

 

As we met with RO Manager, he said that there is only one Office throughout Raparin area other than that many other villages and subdistricts surrounding Ranya pertain to that Office. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WOLA representative meets with RO Manager.

WOLA representative meets with Crime and Movement Section Manager

Statistics and planning section:  where the statistics of all cases that are admitted to them is collected and all information related to the complaints are registered.

 

Regarding the shortcomings that are in RO, RO Manager said,” We have many shortcomings with respect to staff.  Also, we have few officers and employees.  Moreover, we don’t have a budget other than the fact that we are financially supported by the organizations. 

 

I asked the RO Manager whether the presence of one Office is sufficient to the family problems in the area.  In response he said, “We are under a great pressure.  So, there should be some other offices in the area.  For example, an office for opposing family violence in each of Haji Awa and Chwarqurna is necessary.  Also, there should be two offices in Ranya town so as to decrease the pressure on us and better implement our works here.”  Then he referred to that the lack of investigation court for family violence creates another problem and makes them not to be able to solve the cases in a shortest period of time. 

 

Regarding the reasons behind the family problems, the RO Manager said, “The low level of education among family individuals causes problems.  As up to date patriarchal culture is prevalent in part of community families.  Also, some people who do not believe in legal system do not solve their differences through law when they face violence.”

 

He also mentioned that there is many violence with regard to economy as most of the cases who come to them talk about that their husbands do not spend money on them.  There are cases whose husbands expelled them do not spend money on them and their children.  That is another reason behind the cases problems.  With regard to marital infidelity and sexual assault, there are less cases.  Sometimes there are outside intervention into the family’s life as in many times it creates problems for the family.  Also, as the parties do not behave correctly towards one another and misunderstand one another, problems are going to be created.      

 

 

 

 


WOLA representative meets with the Director of Directorate for Opposing Violence

2.    Shelter

 

RO Manager mentioned that when someone, being physically abused, comes to them, they directly transfer her to the nearest health center to be treated and so that they can have initial medical report.  Then after they obtain a deposition from her, they will transfer her to a court.  Afterwards, the court decides to put her in Raparin jailhouse as they do not have a shelter.  So, they are obliged to put her in the jailhouse if none of her relatives received her.  Often the case goes to her relative’s house on her responsibility.  If there is no one to take care of her, they will transfer her to Slemani Shelter House.  So, the RO Manager said, “This is the problem for us and the safety of the case.  Therefore, it is high time a special shelter be set up for sheltering family violence victims in this administration. “

 

3.    Hotline

 

Regarding a hotline, the Director of Directorate for Opposing Violence against Family and Women said,” When someone having a problem contacts number (119) they will be answered from Slemani.  Then we will be informed about the case.  Afterwards, we will help them as far as we can.  And we will follow up the case and make efforts to solve it.  Often, the case only asks for guidelines and we provide her with them.”

 

As for another question we directed to the Director whether they have female officer.  In response he said, “Most of those who work at the sections are females.  But we do not have female officers other than that we have female employees.”

 

4.    Ranya Investigation Court

 

Concerning RIC, other than the investigation cases, all family cases are viewed in RIC.  This is due to the lack of a court for opposing family violence in Ranya.  So, this created a situation that they can not differentiate between the family cases and other cases as it was mentioned in the law opposing family violence. 

 

The lack of a special court for family problems led to the fact that they take long times until they are settled.  This is why it is necessary for forming a special court for the family problems as it was mentioned in the law. 

 

 

 

Questionnaire

 

In this report we conducted a questionnaire in Kurdistan region regarding the law opposing family violence so as to know to what extent the citizens are aware of the law opposing family violence and to what extent they have information on the court for opposing family violence.  Or if they faced a problem, did they come to the court?  To what extent the Reconciliation Committee were cooperative to them and made efforts to solve their problems.  Then they were asked about the kinds of violence which were committed against them.  With these and other questions, we found out that very few citizens are familiar with the law opposing family violence or the court for opposing family violence.  Therefore, we find that the relevant authorities should take serious action towards implementing the law opposing family violence through helping the citizens be aware of having such a law. 

 

 

Questionnaire Results

 

Age of the participants

14 - 50

Sex

Both

Participants’ place

Kurdistan region

 

 

Question 1: To what extent do you have information on the law opposing family violence?

 

 

No

To some extent

Much

67

96

60

38%

56%

6%

 

As the result of this questionnaire we found out 38% of the participants do not have any information on the law opposing family violence, 56% of them to some extent are familiar with it and those who are completely aware of it were very few who are 6% of them.  This is why this should be taken in to consideration as the law being issued for many years and applied in the court is known by few people.  It is worth to be mentioned that those who participated in the questionnaire were people with problems and visited the courts.  So, they should have been quite aware of it.  At this point we will find out that if another questionnaire was conducted among people who did not visited the courts, it would be impossible for them to have a reasonable information on the law.  This is why it is necessary for the relevant authorities and organization to work more on disseminating awareness.   

 

Question 2: To what extent do you have information on the court for opposing family violence?

 

No

To some extent

Much

94

108

18

42.72%

49%

8.18%

 

From here we found out as the citizens do not have information on the law, so they do not have information on the court for opposing family violence.  Therefore, working on citizens’ awareness of having such a court is very necessary.   

Question 3:  To what extent do you agree with the Reconciliation Committee members?  Could they be cooperative, as required, to solve your problem? 

  

No

To some extent

Much

63

96

53

29.71%

45.28%

25%

 

From here we found out that to some extent Reconciliation Committee could play this great role.  As the rate is not very high it is for the RC members to play a better role in tackling the cases and bringing about family reconciliation.  At the same time more attention should be given to such committee and required budgets should be allocated for them for expert fees and all required provisions.  Also, they should be more open handed in their works so as to improve their role of reconciling the families.

 

Question 4: What kind of violence was committed against you?

 

Mental

Physical

Sex

130

100

15

53%

40.81%

6.12%

 

From this result we found out that most of the victims faced violence.  In the families, mental violence was committed against the victims like insults, swear words.  This is why complete attention should be given to the mental side of the victims.  At the time of their visiting to the relevant authorities, efforts should be made to rebuild the mental side of the victims.  And mental health hospital should be opened for them.

 

Question 5: To what extent did the judge and employees of the court for opposing family violence cooperate with you and facilitate your work?

 

No

To some extent

Much

42

123

56

19%

55.65%

25.33%

 

From here we found out the judges and members of the courts cooperated with the family cases, as required.  This is commendable.  But those people who do not have good opinion of the courts are not few.  And the reason behind this attributed to the legal procedures, enormity of the cases and scarcity of judges and employees.  As when a citizen files a complaint do not go to the court because the cases take very long time there until they are settled due to the enormity of cases and scarcity of judges and employees.  Therefore, the citizens feel disturbed and discomfort towards the courts. 

 

Question 6: Was the investigation with you made in secret?

 

 

 

No

Yes

122

99

55.72%

40.72%

 

Based on the law opposing family violence, investigations of the family cases should be confidential.  But this result tells us that the confidentiality that is necessary in such cases exists with a small percentage.  There are many reasons behind this among them is the lack of a special court for opposing family violence.  Another reason is that the misdemeanor court views all lawsuits and the investigation court has many complaint files.  On the other hand, as there is no a proper place for the investigation court, confusion is being made.  Also, the lack of a proper place for investigating the family cases, as often it happens that the investigation is made in a small room with the presence of several investigators, leads the cases not to be entirely confidential.  And all of these reasons are because of the negligence of relevant authorities. 

 

Question 7: Who committed violence against you?

Husband (man)

Wife (woman)

Brother

Father

Mother

Daughter

Others up to grade four

128

9

34

21

2

2

38

54.70%

3.84%

14.52%

8.97%

0.85%

0.85%

16.23%

 

As the result of this questionnaire we found out most of those who commit violence are males and husbands against their wives.  Therefore, males should be more made aware by opening varieties of awareness training sessions through which the violence rates could be decreased. 

 

Question 8: How long does it take to have your case solved at court?

 

1 – 3 months

3 – 6 months

6 months – 1 year and more

53

37

50

37.85%

26.42%

35.71%

 

 

   As the result we found out the problems that are in the courts take a long time until they are settled.  Often as the cases took a long time and did not get settlement, the complainants gave up their complaints.  This was often due to the scarcity of judges and employees of that court.  This is why the relevant authority should make serious efforts to provide more judges and employees for the courts so that the complainants cannot lose their rights by postponing their cases and to be hopeless in filing their complaints. 

 

 

 

Statistics

1.    The total statistics of the directorates of opposing violence against families and women in Kurdistan region. 

 

Year of 2019

Year of 2018

Directorate

4628

3351

Hawler

2537

2586

Duhok

3226

2000

Slemani

999

1024

Garmian

807

555

Raparin

284

306

Soran

 

 

2.    Kinds of statistics in the directorates of opposing violence against families and women in Kurdistan region in 2018.

 

 

 

Sexual assault

complaints

Putting oneself on fire

suicidal

Killing

Place

22

2269

22

14

14

Hawler

35

2486

30

21

14

Duhok

45

1909

18

15

12

Slemani

12

991

12

6

3

Garmian

15

522

8

9

1

Raparin

6

290

7

2

1

Soran

145

9568

107

68

46

Total No.

 

 

3.    Kinds of statistics in the directorates of opposing violence against families and women in Kurdistan region in 2019. 

 

 

Sexual assault

Complaints

Putting oneself on fire

suicidal

Killing

Place

54

4494

25

29

16

Hawler

27

2449

27

17

7

Duhok

49

3427

22

16

12

Slemani

9

989

0

0

1

Garmian

15

579

10

2

2

Raparin

1

269

8

4

2

Soran

155

11907

102

69

41

Total No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.    The comparison of statistics of all directorates of opposing violence against families and women in Kurdistan region between 2018 and 2019.

Year

Killing

Suicidal

Putting oneself on fire

Complaints

Sexual Assault

2019

41

69

103

11907

155

2018

46

68

107

9568

145

Difference

-5

+1

-4

+2339

+10

 

From these statistics we found out that the numbers notably increased in all directorates, especially those of the complaints.  This tells us to work more on the law opposing family violence, make practical steps for implementing it and address the problems and difficulties in the way of its implementation.     

 

Statistics of violence in Mnara Office in Hawler Governorate

With comparison of six months between 2018 and 2019

 

 

First six months of 2018

First six months of 2019

509

 

576

 

 

 

Statistics of family violence in Raparin Administration area:

First six months of 2019

First six months of 2018

236

 

337

 

 

 

Statistics of marriage and divorce in Raparin administration area:

 

First six months of 2018

First six months of 2019

Marriage

1628

1486

Divorce

248

216

 

 

 

Statistics of Reconciliation Committee in Raparin area:

First six months of 2018

First six months of 2019

144

 

154

 

 

 

Statistics of the courts of opposing family violence in Slemani governorate in the first six months of 2019

 

Incoming

Closed

Transferred

1187

934

314

 

 

Statistics of WOLA cases in 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations

1.    Increasing the number of investigation courts in all governorates in a way to keep the cases confidential and facilitate the procedures works. 

2.    Forming a misdemeanor court for family problems in all governorates.

3.    Increasing the number of offices in all governorates so as to facilitate the cases’ works and help the victims due to enormity of the complaints. 

4.    Allocating required and appropriate buildings for the offices in a way that the places be proper and safe for the complainants and their employees and away from the neighborhoods and having sufficient securities for them.

5.    Increasing the number of women at the high administration positions related to the law implementation.

6.    Opening shelters for the family violence victims and separating them from other cases.

7.    More attention should be given to the mental aspect of family violence victims when the complaints are processed.  It is for the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Work and Social Affairs to take serious action to open mental hospitals for the victims.

8.    The relevant authorities, especially the Ministry of Interior, should take serious action to disseminate awareness on the law.

9.    Working on keeping the cases confidential in the courts and offices.

10. The Parliament should take serious action to amend the law opposing family violence in a way to address all the drawbacks that appeared during its implementation.  This can be done through working with the organizations, judges and relevant authorities who are implementing it. 

11. Providing the directorates and offices with all requirements of fuels, vehicles and police so that they can play better roles to implement the law.

12. Putting and specifying a generalized and uniformed mechanism for the courts, in terms of having types and specialties of the courts, in a way not to let any court to deal with the cases differently.

13. Appointing permanent and fixed members for Reconciliation Committees and allocating financial merits and administrative requirements for them so that they can play their important roles as a reconciliation committee to fulfill family reconciliation. 

14. Working on enlarging and developing the shelters that are currently present so as to become a safe haven for the victims in a way that their safety and future are protected.

15. Appointing mandated or pro bono lawyers for the family violence victims at the stage of investigation.

16. Setting up awareness and professional training sessions for the officers and investigators of the directorates and offices as technology is progressing and electronic crimes are increasing.

17. Transferring Reconciliation Committees to the Offices so as to solve more problems and fulfill more family reconciliations        

 

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