ANTI-GENDER BASED VIOLENCE ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Application of relevant Acts

   3.   Interpretation

PART II
FILING OF, AND DEALING WITH, COMPLAINTS OF GENDER BASED-VIOLENCE

   4.   Number of acts amounting to gender based violence

   5.   Duty to assist or inform complainant of rights, etc.

   6.   Filing of complaint to police

   7.   Police to respond promptly

   8.   Police assistance after receipt of complaint

   9.   Arrest by police

PART III
PROTECTION ORDERS

   10.   Application for protection order

   11.   Conduct of proceedings

   12.   Interim protection order

   13.   Issuance of protection order

   14.   Effect of protection order

   15.   Conditions of protection order

   16.   Modification of protection order

   17.   Duration of final protection order

   18.   Extension of protection order to other persons

   19.   Grant of protection order not to exclude criminal liability

   20.   Occupation order

   21.   Appeals

   22.   Power to discharge protection order

   23.   Contravention of protection order

PART IV
SHELTER FOR VICTIMS

   24.   Establishment of shelters for victims

   25.   Minimum norms and standards of shelters

   26.   Inspectors of shelters

   27.   Shelters for child victims

   28.   Shelters for adult victims

   29.   Assessment of victim

   30.   Rehabilitation of victim

PART V
ANTI-GENDER BASED VIOLENCE COMMITTEE

   31.   Anti-Gender based Violence Committee

PART VI
ANTI-GENDER BASED VIOLENCE FUND

   32.   Establishment of Fund

   33.   Administration and management of Fund

   34.   Accounts and audit

PART VII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   35.   Service of process

   36.   Settlement of matter out Court

   37.   Proceedings in camera

   38.   Publication of proceedings prohibited

   39.   Public education

   40.   Rules of Court

   41.   Regulations

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for the protection of victims of gender- based violence; constitute the Anti-Gender based Violence Committee; establish the Anti-Gender based Violence Fund; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[15th April, 2011]

Act 1 of 2011.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Anti-Gender based Violence Act.

2.   Application of relevant Acts

   (1) An act of gender based violence shall be inquired into, tried, and otherwise dealt with in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code, the Penal Code and any other written law.

   (2) Subject to the Constitution, where there is any inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and the provisions of any other written law the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

3.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“abuse” means conduct that harms or is likely to cause harm to the safety, health or wellbeing of a person;

“aggravated” in relation to gender based violence, means any act of gender based violence which—

      (a)   causes the victim to suffer wounding or grievous bodily harm; or

      (b)   the Court otherwise considers to be so serious as to be aggravated, taking into account—

      (i)   whether a weapon was used;

      (ii)   evidence of pre-meditation;

      (iii)   whether the victim is particularly vulnerable;

      (iv)   any failure, by the police, the Court or any official body, to respond to previous warnings; and

      (v)   any other consideration the Court considers appropriate;

“applicant” means a victim who applies for a protection order, or on whose behalf an application for a protection order is made, under this Act;

“associated respondent” means a person associated with a person against whom an application for a protection order is made;

“care institution” includes an educational institution;

“child” means a person below sixteen years;

“Court” means a subordinate Court;

“domestic relationship” means a relationship, between a victim and a respondent in any of the following ways:

      (a)   the victim and the respondent are or were married to each other, under any law, custom or religion;

      (b)   the victim cohabits with the respondent in a relationship in the nature of a marriage notwithstanding that they are not married, were not married to each other or could not or cannot be married to each other;

      (c)   the victim is engaged to the respondent, Courting the respondent or in an actual or perceived romantic, intimate, cordial or sexual relationship of any duration;

      (d)   the victim and the respondent are parents of a child, are expecting a child together or are foster parents to a child;

      (e)   the victim and the respondent are family members related by consanguinity, affinity or adoption, or would be so related if they are married either customarily or under any law or religion, or are able to be married, or if they are living together as spouses although they are not married;

      (f)   the victim and the respondent, share or shared the same residence or are co-tenants;

      (g)   the victim is a house-help in the household of the respondent;

      (h)   the victim lives in or attends a public or private care institution and is under the care and control of the respondent; or

      (i)   the victim is in a relationship with the respondent determined by the Court to be a domestic relationship;

“economic abuse” means—

      (a)   the unreasonable deprivation of any economic or financial resources to which a victim, or a family member or dependant of the victim is entitled under any law, requires out of necessity or has a reasonable expectation of use, including household necessities, medical expenses or school fees and mortgage bond repayments or rent payments in respect of a shared household;

      (b)   denying a person the right to seek employment or to engage in an income-generating activity;

      (c)   unreasonably depriving a victim, a family member or dependant of the victim, of property in which the victim, family member or dependant of the victim has an interest or a reasonable expectation of use, or unreasonably disposing of such property; or

      (d)   intentionally destroying or damaging property in which the victim of gender based violence, a family member or a dependant of the victim of gender based violence has an interest or a reasonable expectation of use;

“emergency monetary relief” means compensation for monetary loss suffered by a victim of gender based violence at the time of the issue of a protection order as a result of the gender based violence, including, as appropriate—

      (a)   loss of earnings;

      (b)   medical and dental expenses;

      (c)   relocation and accommodation expenses; and

      (d)   household necessities;

“emotional, verbal and psychological abuse” means a pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct towards a person, including—

      (a)   insults, ridicule or name-calling;

      (b)   threats to cause emotional pain or distress;

      (c)   the exhibition of obsessive possessiveness which is such as to constitute a serious invasion of the person’s privacy, liberty, integrity or security; or

      (d)   any act, omission or behaviour constituting gender based violence which, when committed in the presence of minor members of the family, is likely to cause them mental injury;

“gender” means female or male and the role individuals play in society as a result of their sex and status;

“gender based violence” means any physical, mental, social or economic abuse against a person because of that person’s gender, and includes—

      (a)   violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to the person, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life; and

      (b)   actual or threatened physical, mental, social or economic abuse that occurs in a domestic relationship;

“harassment” means engaging in a pattern of conduct that induces in a person the fear of imminent harm or feelings of annoyance and aggravation, including—

      (a)   sexual contact without the consent of the person with whom the contact is made and making unwanted sexual advances;

      (b)   following, pursuing or accosting a person or making persistent, unwelcome communication with a person and includes—

      (i)   watching, loitering outside or near a building where the harassed person resides, works, carries on business, studies or happens to be;

      (ii)   repeatedly making phone calls or using a third party to make phone calls to the harassed person, whether or not conversation ensues;

      (iii)   repeatedly sending, delivering or causing the delivery of offensive or abusive letters, telegrams, packages, facsimiles, electronic mail or other offensive objects or messages to the harassed person; or

      (iv)   engaging in any other menacing behaviour;

“HIV” means human immunodeficiency virus;

“household chattels” include jewellery, clothes, books, furniture and furnishings, refrigerator, television, radiogram, other electrical and electronic appliances, kitchen and laundry equipment, simple agricultural equipment, hunting equipment, motor vehicles, other than vehicles used wholly for commercial purposes, and household livestock;

“imminent harm” in relation to an applicant, includes harm that the applicant fears is likely to happen taking into consideration the history of the respondent’s violent behaviour towards the complainant or other relevant factors;

“interim protection order” means an order made by the Court under sub-section (6) of section 12 pending the final determination of an application;

“intimidation” means intentionally inducing fear of imminent harm in a person whether by words or actions and whether by oneself or by the use of a third party by—

      (a)   threatening to abuse that person or a third party;

      (b)   threatening to damage, destroy or dispose of property in which that person or a third party has a material interest; or

      (c)   exhibiting a weapon before that person;

“marriage” includes marriage under any law, custom or religion;

“next friend” means a person who intervenes to assist a victim who is a child or who has a mental disability to bring a legal action;

“order” means a protection order or other order that the Court may make under this Act;

“physical abuse” means physical assault or use of physical force against another person, including the forcible confinement or detention of another person and the deprivation of another person of access to adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, rest, or subjecting another person to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

“physical, mental, social or economic abuse” means any act, omission or behaviour or threat of any such act, omission or behaviour which results in death or is likely to result in the direct infliction of physical, sexual or mental injury to any person, and includes—

      (a)   physical abuse;

      (b)   sexual abuse;

      (c)   emotional, verbal or psychological abuse, including any conduct that makes another person feel constantly unhappy, humiliated, ridiculed, afraid or depressed or to feel inadequate or worthless;

      (d)   economic abuse;

      (e)   intimidation;

      (f)   harassment;

      (g)   stalking;

      (h)   controlling behaviour such as isolating a person from the person’s family and friends, monitoring the person’s movement and restricting the person’s access to information or assistance;

      (i)   malicious damage to property;

      (j)   forcible entry into a person’s residence, where the parties do not share the same residence;

      (k)   depriving a person of, or hindering a person from access to or a reasonable share of the use of the facilities associated with the person’s residence or forcible entry into a person’s room or into a room occupied by a person, where the parties share the same residence;

      (l)   the unreasonable disposal of household effects or other property in which a person has interest;

      (m)   abuse delivered from the following cultural or customary rites or practices-

      (i)   forced virginity testing;

      (ii)   female genital mutilation;

      (iii)   pledging of a person for purposes of appeasing spirits;

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