The remaining 96.9% of cases are either dismissed or the victim does not get a court hearing, the study found
Those who lodge formal complaints over incidents of violence against women (VAW) have only a 3.1% chance that the court will rule in favour of the victim, according to a study.
The remaining 96.9% of cases are either dismissed or the victim does not get a court hearing, the study found.
It further said four out of five VAW related cases brought before court remain unaddressed for two years, before court dates are set.
The study was unveiled on Monday, at a program organized as part of the global awareness campaign “16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence.”
ActionAid Bangladesh and Jatyo Nari Nirjaton Protirodh Forum (JNNPF) commissioned the study, titled “Spotlight on Violence Against Women in Bangladesh: Trends and Solution.”
While presenting the study, research lead Ahmad Ibrahim said the analysis was based on 2,800 VAW cases filed from January, 2017 to September, 2018. The information was collected from police, courts, and NGOs in 20 districts of the country.
Of the total number of cases, 32% saw the offender acquitted, while only 3.1% went in favour of the victim. The remaining cases were either settled out of court, dismissed, or yet to receive a court date, he added.
The researcher further said it was alarming that although village courts are not authorized to settle VAW cases, 25% of respondents to the study said their cases had been settled by village courts.
According to Ahmad, the data in the new study corresponded to the baseline VAW survey conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in 2015.
Ahmad said VAW cases arising from domestic disputes were under reported in Bangladesh, with the media only covering 10.7% of domestic VAW cases.
By sensationalizing and focusing on VAW incidents outside of the home, the media was perpetuating the false stereotype that “women are safer at home,” the researcher claimed.
“In fact, statistically speaking, women are most unsafe in their homes,” he added, saying while 66% of VAW incidents were related to domestic violence, 80% of media reports covered rape, which was just 7% of the analysed cases.
Addressing the program as special guest, Khushi Kabir said: “Unfortunately, we have grown to accept violence against women as it is so commonplace. The #Metoo movement has shown how many women had to resort to social media after failing to get justice.”
JNNPF Chairperson Momtaz Ara Tumi said: “It is beyond belief that girls are unsafe in their homes and with their families. We have to save the oldest institution of society to effectively make the world safer.”
Daily Ittefaq Editor and former lawmaker Tasmima Hossain said: “Children have to learn about their bodies. They should understand why #Metoo and what men can do.”
ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said society needed to end its tolerance of violence against women.
A cartoon display titled #FemiToon was organized to mark the awareness program at the Drik Gallery.