Ahmed Ouyahia – Prime Minister of Algeria
Ask Algeria To Protect Women Against Domestic Abuse!
by Gabrielle Spence on 19-September-18, 04:58 PM
1.809 signed/ 30.000 target
28.191 more signatures needed
It is the duty of police as well as the entire judicial system to ensrue the safety of women that no longer want to be with their partners after experiencing an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, the authorities in Algeria have done little to address this extremely important issue and have yet to confer the necessary protection to the victims of domestic violence.
In 2016 alone over 8, 000 complaints were reported by women all across Algeria – and that is the number that was officialy reported. The number of victims is much higher, possibly expanding to hundreds of thousands. According to a survey conducted by the State Ministry for the Family and Status of Women, 10 per cent of Algerian women have encountered physical abuse in their relationship.
Ahmed Benchemsi, a spokesperson of the Human Rights Watch advocacy group, points out that there are major hurdles for Algerian women who want to separate from their abusive husbands, and Salwa’s case is the most relevant in this matter.
Salwa had been abused for years; when she decided she could not be silent anymore, police initially refused to interrogate her husband; the man was eventually handed out a symbolic fine and suspended jail term. When Salwa tried to file for divorce, her application was rejected because she needed to provide more proof that her husband had harmed her.
The government did nothing to help me, but only ordered me to go back to him – Salwa reckons.
It is obvious that more needs to be done to help the victims of domestic abuse in Algeria. We, the undersigned, urge officials to adopt a meaningful reform to ensure that all women that want to leave an abusive relationship can actually do so – the abusers need to be strictly punished for their actions and restraining orders must start being issued (police protection included, if necessary). We are confident that if these measures (recommended by the Human Rights Watch) are implemented, it would lead to a huge improvement in the lives of the thousands of women who are suffering as a result of domestic abuse in Algeria.