Launch of ‘Breaking the Silence’

Baghdad, Iraq, 3 March 2021 – Identifying joint advocacy opportunities to encourage efforts to criminalize domestic violence in Iraq, formalize an effective support system for survivors and hold perpetrators accountable for crimes committed inside the home was at the centre of the virtual launching event of the short film ‘Breaking the Silence’.

The film illustrates the plight of survivors of domestic violence, who are often silenced by societal gendered norms and behaviour, reluctant to come forward and seek support.

The joint virtual event organized by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq’s Human Rights Office (UNAMI HRO) brought together 32 participants who included Government representatives, members of the Council of Representatives and civil society organisations. The showing of the film prompted a detailed discussion on the current state of the draft anti-domestic violence law and what initiatives are needed to support the ongoing debate.

“Iraqi law must protect the most vulnerable, especially at home. Without this law, the most brutal violence – acts that outside the home would be considered criminal – will continue to be treated as mere ‘family disputes’ or ‘private matters’,” Danielle Bell, Chief of UNAMI HRO and Representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Iraq, said in opening remarks.

Participants identified several obstacles stalling progress in the debate about the draft anti-domestic violence law, including gendered misconceptions and reluctance to address societal norms and behaviour to criminalise violence in the family. To address some of these challenges, participants recommended the formation of a committee to be dedicated to identifying practical solutions to unblock the debate on the draft anti-domestic violence law and to involve civil society organisations in the process.

Watch the film here -  - and you, too, can be part of this advocacy initiative by sharing it on your social media platforms.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 March 2021 14:17

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