Domestic Violence occurs when a person exhibits behaviors that are meant to belittle, hurt and control their partner. It is common in married households, but it can also happen to engaged couples or just couples that are dating. In Lebanon, it is a huge issue in women's right as there is still no effective application to a newly formed law that is supposed to protect victims of domestic violence. This reflection tackles this problem and analyzes it from my personal perspective. .
It's worth mentioning that victims of domestic violence can be men, but the society we live in emphasizes hyper-masculinity and people tend not to believe that a man can be abused by a woman. The man is usually seen as powerful and dominant. How can a feeble woman abuse him? Society asks. That's another issue. When it comes to victims of domestic violence, the majority are women. Therefore, it is a woman's rights issue. In Lebanon, up until April 1st, 2014, there was no law to protect abused women. On that day, the Lebanese parliament passed a law on Protection of Women and Family Members from Domestic Violence. While this is a great first step towards protecting women, the law remains flawed in several ways. The positive elements of the law are that it calls for the establishment of temporary shelters for victims of abuse, it enables women to file for a restraining order against their abuser, and establishes specialized family violence units in Lebanon's domestic police to process complaints. But the law titled Law 293, has several flaws that were identified by the National Coalition for Legislating the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence. One issue is that it fails to penalize marital rape, which is not a crime under Lebanese law (Human Rights Watch, 2014). This alone is outrageous, as it is still technically justifiable for a man to RAPE his wife. What's even sadder is that some extremely conservative Lebanese citizens don't understand how a man raping his wife is violating her rights and her bodily integrity.