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Domestic Violence goes under screen in Viet Nam

Hanoi (Viet Nam), 27 June 2014
- The 2010 Viet Nam National Study on domestic violence revealed that 58.3 per cent of ever-married women experienced at least one type of domestic violence at some point of their lives.

The 2013 UNODC "Assessment of the situation of women in the criminal justice system in Viet Nam" acknowledged that 58% of women in Viet Nam experience some type of emotional, physical or sexual domestic violence during their lifetime. However, only 13% of abused women sought help from the justice system.

Unfortunately, violence against women is still seen as a private matter that takes place behind the closed doors, and there are significant shortcomings to investigate and prosecute domestic violence. UNODC through its Regional Programme for South East Asia seeks to strengthen legal and policy frameworks for the criminal justice response to violence against women.

In November 2013 the UNODC in cooperation with UN Women and UNFPA has launched the "Assessment of the situation of women in the criminal justice system in Viet Nam". The report recognized that "patriarchal norms have created a society in which gender-based violence is often considered to be 'normal' and women are encouraged to deal with violence outside of the justice system. As a result, rates of reporting violence against women are low, and victims are often referred to reconciliation facilitators within their local community to arrive at a solution within the family before involving the criminal justice system".

The root causes of domestic violence and rights of the victims for seeking and receiving justice was in the focus of TV series called "Behind the judgment", which was broadcasted at prime time on national TV channels in November 2013. Work on TV series was supported by UNODC Country office through a dedicated project on "Strengthening capacity of law enforcement and justice sectors to prevent and respond to domestic violence in Viet Nam".

UNODC in Viet Nam aims to contribute to promoting gender equality and women empowerment through gender mainstreaming in the justice sector. As part of its country programme policy frameworks and legal norms and practices are being strengthened to address gender inequality and inequity, gender discrimination and gender-based violence. Specifically, support is being provided to ensure effective prevention of domestic violence against women through more responsive law enforcement, justice and social services.

With the support of the UN, the Government of Viet Nam has initiated a number of reforms in addressing domestic violence in the country. In 2014, it launched a "National Program of Action against Domestic Violence through 2020".

Further information

The TV series in Vietnamese

The "Assessment of the situation of women in the criminal justice system in Viet Nam"