BEIRUT: In light of the increased cases of domestic violence in Lebanon due to home quarantine, Judge Ghassan Aouidat, the Attorney General of the Court of Cassation, issued a circular including the procedures for the public prosecutions to deal with cases of domestic violence in Lebanon.
The circular states that due to the state of general mobilization and the increasing phenomenon of domestic violence in Lebanon, and in order to ensure the right of women victims and their children to access the judiciary, the public prosecutors specialized in domestic violence should be enabled to take all possible measures to protect women victims and their children.
Accordingly, the circular included the following procedures:
-Requesting the judicial police to open immediate records of all cases of domestic violence, even the cases of non-witnessed crimes.
- The victim is not required to be present in the judicial police center for her testimony in case she indicates that she cannot move due to health conditions. The specialized Appeal General Attorney will listen to the victim personally or through the judicial officer who is in charge of the investigation, via video call, or by any means he finds appropriate. The circular is communicated to each of the:
- Ministry of Justice
-Ministry of Interior and Municipalities
-Appeal Public Prosecution offices
- Government Commissioner at the Military Court
- Army Command
- General Directorate of Internal Security Forces
-Directorate General of Public Security
-General Directorate of State Security.
According to the COVID-19 MENA, consumer sentiment tracker by IPSOS, domestic violence against women in Lebanon has been on the rise since the lockdown. Ten percent of men and women, out of a total 500, have observed an increase in harassment, violence, and abuse against women and girls since the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon. Additionally, 37 percent of women and girls, out of a total of 250, reported feeling less safe since the lockdown started.
Accordingly, ABAAD is launching the support call #LockDownnotLockUp and is raising awareness on its helpline number 81-788178 dedicated to women enduring violence at home.
Additionally, Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) launched a hotline (1745) for reporting domestic abuse cases in Lebanon.
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