Domestic violence is a violation of women's human rights.
Violence directed against women by their intimate partners (current
or former spouses or boyfriends) is an epidemic of global proportions
that has devastating physical, emotional, financial and social
effects on women, children, families and communities around
Battered women's advocates in Central and Eastern Europe
and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) and around
the world work to further women's human right to be free from
domestic violence in a variety of ways. Advocates work to provide
necessary services to battered women, including referrals, legal
advice, shelter, crisis centers, and hotlines. Together with
other members of the community, they have worked to develop
common understandings of domestic violence and to coordinate
the responses of the legal, medical, and social service professionals
to enhance victim safety and batterer accountability. Advocates
also work to prevent domestic violence through lobbying and
community education, as well as through the creation of batterers
Critical to these efforts to combat domestic violence
has been the growing recognition of domestic violence as a violation
of women's human rights. States are obligated under international
law to take effective steps to protect women from violence and
hold batterers accountable and to guarantee to women equal protection
of the law.
Explore the Issue
This section of the site allows users to increase their
understanding of domestic violence through a discussion of theories
of violence, the prevalence of the problem, causes and complicating
effects, the effect of domestic violence on victims, and strategies
for protecting victims and ensuring batterer accountability.
Research and Reports
This section of the site provides links to selected web-based
materials on the domestic violence topics covered in Explore
Law and Policy
This section of the site contains information on states'
international legal obligations under both the United Nations
and the European human rights systems to prevent domestic violence.
This section also provides selected national and model legislation
on domestic violence.
The STOPVAW site offers sample training materials on
domestic violence. These materials are designed to provide
advocates with basic training tools that can be adapted to the
country-specific circumstances, the goals of a training program
and the training audience. It is recommended that advocates
use the training materials on domestic violence in conjunction
with the more general Guidelines
for Developing a Training Program which introduce a methodology
for conducting training for the general public as well as individuals
and organizations involved in addressing violence against women.