Qatar devises measures to curb domestic violence

April 12, 2011

A comprehensive system to prevent domestic violence is to be set up in Qatar, the 2011-2016 National Development Strategy (NDS) said. The system will ensure privacy, protection and support for victims and anyone who reports violent incidents.

Establishing help centres, streamlining data collection methods and criminalising domestic violence are also part of the system, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported.

Additionally, an early detection mechanism for child abuse and neglect will be implemented in schools too.

The NDS report shows that Qatar has seen an alarming jump in the number of domestic violence cases against women and children since 2004.

According to figures, 2,389 cases of domestic violence — 1,204 against children and 1,185 against women — have been referred to the Qatar Foundation for Child and Woman Protection since 2004.


In a 2007 study by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, covering 2,778 Qatari and expatriate women students, 63 per cent reported they had been victims of physical abuse. Cases of strong violence, such as rape, were reported by 52 victims while sexual harassment was suffered by 120 people.

A 2008 study of more than 1,000 married Qatari women indicated that 28 per cent reported having experienced domestic violence, which was most frequently carried out by husbands (the main source), brothers or fathers.

Gender-based violence

The NDS says domestic violence has devastating consequences not only on the victims but on society as a whole. Gender-based violence, which includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, has economic and social costs that directly undermine Qatar’s goal of providing social care and protection for all its citizens.

Domestic violence is currently not classified as an offence under criminal law in Qatar, although there is a range of legislation that does not condone violence against women and children, the daily said.

The NDS says that Qatar faces two primary challenges in reducing domestic violence, the lack of a systematic data collection and incomplete investigations of suspected cases of abuse or neglect.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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