Saudi Arabia and Domestic Abuse

If you watch the video above, you will learn that in August of 2013 Saudi Arabia passed it’s first ban on domestic abuse. The new law was put in to place to protect house wives, children and even domestic workers that have been suffering the effects of domestic violence under the rule of an unsympathetic government.

Now, nearly a month after the passing of this law, we are finding out that authorities seem to have no plans to actually enforce it. Two women’s rights activists were convicted on September 24th 2013 on charges of “inciting a woman against her husband.” Basically these women stepped in to help a woman and her children who were being abused by the father and authorities say that was an unlawful action. The woman and her children were reportedly locked in their home without sufficient food or water. These two women who were just trying to help these victims now face up to 10 months in prison and a 2 year ban on foreign travel.

These women were convicted by the opinion of just one judge (no jury) and he didn’t even allow the woman in distress to testify.

So, despite this new law meant to help victims, Saudi law enforcement are refusing to intervene with the “sovereignty” a man has over his female dependents. The law doesn’t specifically state who is allowed to intervene in instances of abuse, and since we know that authorities avoid it and citizens will get arrested for it, these victims are basically trapped.

The government is sending mixed signals about a piece of legislation they passed merely a month ago. For this law to work the authorities need to crack down. Saudi Arabia needs to look kindly upon those who assert themselves to help the women, children, and workers in need of rescue. And what can we do? We, as an allied country, can push the issue. We can make our disappointment of their lack of enforcement for this law known. We can refuse help to them when they ask us to fight Syria on their behalf. Something. But we can’t go on knowing that a country we interact with and do business with is still treating their women, children, and workers in such a horrific way. This is something we can not support and must push to end.

Posted By: Brittany Lintner


1 thought on “Saudi Arabia and Domestic Abuse

  1. It’s a shame that the law actually succeeded through the legal system but will not likely be enforced without some kind of intervention. With all of the other problems in the Middle East, domestic abuse seems to be low priority, but Western countries need to start paying more attention to it.

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