Throughout this knowledge module, 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 62/14963/16865/206, 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.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Mediation or Assisted Alternative Dispute Resolution Provisions

Last edited: February 27, 2011

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Legislation should specifically preclude police, legal system officials and other leaders from offering mediation or assisted alternative dispute resolution services to resolve issues between widows and her in-laws or heirs of the deceased, both before and during legal proceedings in widow maltreatment cases. Police, judges and other leaders should not attempt to improve relations in the family by offering these services or by mediating a dispute. See: UN Handbook 3.9.1 and Section on Roles of Police.

Mediation reflects an assumption that both parties are equally at fault for the violence. It assumes that both parties have equal bargaining power, yet in reality an abuser may hold tremendous power over a victim. Traditional patrilineal societies that assume the marital property and children belong to the husband’s side of the family further weaken any bargaining power a widow may have. Mediation also removes a domestic violence case from public view and objective judicial scrutiny. 

See: Mediation, StopVAW, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Family Violence:  A Model State Code, Sec. 311