No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia's Response to Domestic Violence

Published on December 2, 2017

To mark the global campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, running from November 25 to December 10, LICADHO is publishing a new report No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia’s Response to Domestic Violence. It presents evidence of the failure of the Cambodian justice system to properly protect victims of domestic violence or to punish the perpetrators.

It is based on a review of 237 closed domestic violence cases, investigated by LICADHO between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2016. More than 40 percent of the cases ended with the victim of violence remaining in the violent relationship. Only one fifth led to criminal proceedings being brought against the perpetrator. The remaining cases ended in separation or divorce but no criminal proceedings.

The report explores why so many cases end with victims and abusers remaining together. It finds that family pressure, religious beliefs, poverty and an under-resourced and corrupt justice system all play a part. It also finds that authority figures, such as commune chiefs and police, commonly play a role in bringing about reconciliation between partners.

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