Yet untold numbers of Maldivian women and children still die from gender violence; many more suffer and survive in spite of it, unreported.
When their stories do emerge, it’s not because the Domestic Violence Act is working as it should.
We all share a moral duty for letting responsible institutions off the hook.
Our complacence hits poor women like Samiya the hardest, and contribute to their further marginalization.
Mainstream media report on sexual abuse as a social impediment.
Friday sermons continue to condemn sexual offenses — but now recognize violence as such an offence.
The DV Act established the Family Protection Authority, a special body mandated with implementing the law; it also defines roles for the health and gender ministries, police, courts, local councils and health care providers, to support survivors and bring perpetrators to justice.
Maldives needs an attitude adjustment Why is violence against women so prevalent in a country that identifies so strongly with Islam — a religion based on peace, compassion and mercy?
From southern Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo, she traveled over 250 miles to Malé, where she sought the care of doctors: Her husband, she told them, had raped her, inflicting brutal injuries. One in three women in the Maldives report experiencing sexual or physical violence in their lifetimes; one in five say the perpetrator was their intimate partner.
She ended up in the intensive care unit battling for her life. More disturbing than the violence itself is our apparent comfort with it: Most Maldivians say it’s acceptable or even desirable for a husband to strike his wife.
When under-age rape victims seek services, what they receive instead is blame, rather than care and protection.
While providers bear a moral and legal duty to care for victims of domestic violence, too often their failures go unquestioned.
Maldivian women are considered more emancipated and more educated than our sisters in neighbouring countries.