Bill will not protect women, NGO says

Bill will not protect women, NGO says

Bill will not protect women, NGO says

The new draft bill designed to prevent domestic violence doesn’t aim to protect women, foundation workers sais in a press meeting yesterday in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Mor Çatı (Purple Roof) Women’s Shelter Foundation has said the new draft bill designed to prevent domestic violence is not capable of protecting women, but will only protect “women’s place within the family.”

“The draft bill doesn’t aim to protect women, it only aims to protect the traditional status of women, while five women are murdered by men related to them every day,” volunteer Özlem Özkan said at a press conference organized by the Mor Çatı Women’s Foundation.

Lack of shelters

Özkan said Mor Çatı provided support to 850 women who had been subjected to domestic violence between April 2010 and December 2011. She went on to say that even though there was an article in the law requiring local administrations to provide women’s shelters, there were still not enough shelters available for women.

“Most of the women affected lack social security and they are not economically independent. This makes it much more difficult for them to get out of violent environments,” Özkan said. She also said that one of the biggest reasons for continuing domestic violence was the attitude of policemen, judges, prosecutors, and social service workers, who cling to a mentality that protects men rather than women.

“Public officials generally have the sexist mentality which is common in society. This is why they question women who come to the police station or prosecutor with domestic violence complaints. These public officials have to be educated about domestic violence,” Özkan said.

Özkan added that 236 women’s associations had come together to prepare a draft for the new domestic violence law, but their input was completely ignored by the Family and Social Policies Ministry.