Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group calls for firmer stance on abuse cases



Group calls for firmer stance on abuse cases

Group calls for firmer stance on abuse cases

A women’s rights group called on the government to take stronger action against domestic violence yesterday, saying that numerous cases were being swept under the carpet through mediation and pay-offs.

Pung Chhiv Kek, director of women’s rights group NGO CEDAW and president of rights group Licadho, said Cambodia had adequate legislation to protect women and children from violence, but that most cases were solved outside the law at the local level due to traditional mindsets and a fear of reporting cases to the authorities.

“We have to use the legal system to help women,” she said at a forum yesterday in Phnom Penh.

“We should not solve cases outside of the legal system by offering . . . money so the court drops its investigation and does not punish the suspect.

The suspect committed a crime once and will do so again.”

One major obstacle remains a lack of trust in local authorities to efficiently prosecute cases.

So Sreyleak, the victim of an abusive 10-year relationship with her ex-husband, said police did not punish her ex after she reported his violent assaults.

It was only after she sought help from an NGO that the man was successfully prosecuted, she said. Nevertheless, she encouraged women to speak out about the issue.

“In the past, I often felt scared and embarrassed about my situation, but if we keep feeling like that, we will only live to serve the comfort [of men],” she said.

“So please, I urge women to think clearly about how bad the violence is and whether they can really endure it until death.”

Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, said authorities only mediated disputes if they did not reach the criminal level.

“Sometimes when we mediate, the situation gets better, but if violence is involved that leads to physical damage of property or injuries, it has to be sent to court, because it is a crime,” she said.

The government launched the Second National Action Plan on the Prevention of Violence Against Women this February, aiming to curtail domestic violence in a country where it estimates that more than a quarter of women experience sexual or physical violence.

The plan aims to strengthen authorities’ enforcement power, such as by hiring more female police officers to make women more comfortable reporting abuse.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through