Domestic and Family Violence in Post-Conflict Communities: International Human Rights Law and the State's Obligation to Protect Women and Children

Citation:

Bradley, Samantha. 2018. "Domestic and Family Violence in Post-Conflict Communities: International Human Rights Law and the State’s Obligation to Protect Women and Children." Health and Human Rights 20 (2): 123-36.

Author: Samantha Bradley

Abstract:

Post-conflict communities consistently experience high rates of domestic and family violence (DFV) against women and children. An end to violence in the public sphere is widely seen to precipitate the escalation of violence in the private sphere. This paper presents the argument that protecting women and children from DFV should be an essential public policy goal in post-conflict communities. Furthermore, the imperative for placing DFV on the post-conflict agenda is derived from states’ obligations under international human rights law. Jurisprudence is clear that if a state has knowledge of DFV yet fails to take reasonable steps to ensure victims’ safety and to investigate complaints, then that state may be violating the fundamental human rights to life, to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, to freedom from discrimination, and to health. Problematizing DFV as a violation of states’ obligations under international human rights law, rather than dismissing it as a private sphere issue, should lay the groundwork for post-conflict states’ conceptualization of the protection of women and children as a non-negotiable facet of peace-building agendas.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2018

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