Throughout this knowledge asset, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.
Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/149, 63/168, 65/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.
Enacting legislation to address violence against women is a first step in combating violence against women. However, in order to end violence against women, it is also critical to mandate implementation of these laws, and to develop strategies to facilitate implementation. Those mandated to implement legislation regarding violence against women, including police, prosecutors, judges, helping professions, and community leaders, must have an in-depth understanding of such legislation and must be able to implement it in an appropriate and gender-sensitive manner. In addition, it is important for society as a whole to be aware and educated about violence against women. Laws and strategies should outline the responsibilities of individuals and organizations from both the public and private sectors on a local, national, and global level. The ideal model for ending violence against women is a community that comes together across sectors, agencies, and civil society groups to develop a commitment to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Reflecting this commitment in action plans, campaigns, inter-agency agreements, local and regional plans, etc., is the best way to ensure that laws on violence against women are effectively implemented. This joint planning and communication is referred to as a “coordinated community response.”
The following are critical components that must be addressed in law to ensure effective implementation:
(See: UN Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women, sec. 3.2)
Each of these components is dealt with in the sections below, but several examples of laws from around the world are provided here for quick reference.
National or local action plan including a coordinated community response
Training and capacity building
Specialized police and prosecutorial units
Specialized courts or tribunals
Protocols, guidelines, standards and regulations
Time limit on activating legislative provisions
Penalties for non-compliance by relevant authorities
Next Topic Funding implementation