NGOs criticize antiviolence bill draft

NGOs criticize antiviolence bill draft

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
NGOs criticize antiviolence bill draft

A group of women recently protested violence against women in Turkey in Black Sea province Trabzon. DHA photo

More than 230 women’s associations protested a new draft bill on “protection for women and family members” during a press meeting on Jan. 11 in Istanbul.

The current situation will worsen if the new draft bill passes, said the umbrella organization “Platform for Ending Violence against Women.”

“This bill is unacceptable. Men who commit violence against women will receive shorter sentences. Civil administrations [governors of provinces and district governors] will be in charge of protection measures instead of courts if this draft is approved,” Çiğdem Hacıosmanoğlu, a lawyer from the Morçatı Women’s Refuge Foundation, told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The Family and Social Policies Ministry previously made a call for women’s organizations to adopt an active role in the process of preparing the bill. Nongovernmental organizations presented their proposals for the bill, but the result completely disappointed them, Hacıosmanoğlu added.

Only women who are formally engaged, married or divorced will be afforded protection after a clause regarding “those involved in a close relationship” was removed from the resolution, a written statement from the umbrella organization said. 

The decision to exclude women subjected to violence by partners with whom they have no legal bonds of marriage was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, according to the organizations. 

The representatives of women organizations were conducting a closed-meeting with the Family and Social Policies Ministry yesterday as the Daily News went to print.

Turkey, rights, women's rights, domestic violence, anti-violence,