Viet Nam – Domestic Violence – Call for Law Implementation
Author: Womens UN Report Network
Date: July 22, 2005
VIET NAM – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – CALL
FOR LAW IMPLEMENTATION
Head of the Consultancy Bureau at the Centre for
Women and Development Le Thi Phuong Thuy talks to Hai quan (Customs)
newspaper about measures to reduce domestic violence.
It has been one year since the law on
prevention and control of family violence came into effect. Has the situation
The Centre for Women and Development has given consultation to 910 people as
part of its project to support women and children who have been victims of
domestic violence or trafficking. The number of victims has increased greatly
each year, and there have been more and more serious cases of violence. The
victims are of all age groups and education levels.
Since the law on the prevention and control of family violence came into
effect, people’s awareness of the issue has risen and they are more willing to
talk about it.
Society has been affected by the downturn in the market-oriented economy.
Moral degradation and an increase in social evils has led to an increasing
number of people becoming slaves to a pragmatic way of life. Love of money
conflicts with cultural and moral values. That is why domestic violence has
become more serious.
The law came into effect only a year ago so it is difficult to assess just
how effective it has been, but it is certain that it has raised awareness of
What are the main forms of domestic
In developed countries, domestic violence is clearly defined, but in Viet
Nam it is less clearly described. However, it can involve both mental and
physical violence or economic and sexual violence. The majority of cases of
domestic violence that have received support from the centre have involved many
forms. However, mental abuse is more common among educated individuals while
physical violence is more common among untrained workers.
Under the law, a number of regulations have
been applied to punish violators. Have they been effective?
Basing on a survey in nine provinces and cities – Ha Noi, Phu Tho, Thai
Nguyen, Da Nang, Gia Lai, Ninh Thuan, An Giang, HCM City and Can Tho City – it
can be seen that regulations to punish abusers have had a limited effect. These
regulations are implemented by relevant agencies that lack human resources,
facilities and capital. For example, the chairman of a People’s Committee in a
commune decided to punish an abuser by preventing him from having contact with
the victims, but supervisors often did not have enough time to monitor the
punishment. It is also difficult to force an abuser to undergo behavioural
education because it takes from three to five months to set up a file on the
abuser. It requires a lot of work from relevant agencies, particularly the
police, to re-educate an abuser.
If the law was effectively implemented, cases of domestic violence would
certainly go down. — VNS
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