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Domestic violence and abuse

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yonne
lo
gices Peaches
Ba

Domestic violence is a form of abuse, physical and verbal, that can take many forms such as kicking, battering, domineering, slapping, hitting with objects, threats of such acts, sexual abuse, stalking, financial restriction etc. It often evolves in closely related relationships like marriage, within families, friends, dating and cohabitation in order to maintain control over the victims. Though the typical picture of domestic violence shows off the woman as being the main victim in most cases, men and children can also be subject to these acts. Studies have shown that alcohol abuse, drug addiction or mental illnesses are the reasons behind domestic violence.

The effects of domestic violence can be very dangerous whether they are short or long term lived. While at first victims may just feel insecure and try to swallow their pride and overlook the behaviour of the offender, long term effects include malnutrition, loss of sleep, chronic depression, panic attacks, emotional numbing, self neglect and even suicide in worst case scenarios. In the family context, domestic violence between spouses can also lead to child neglect where his/her development can be seriously hindered. Statistics regarding domestic violence in Mauritius is difficult to obtain because not all cases are reported. And it is to be noted that this is not an issue only for the lower class families who in most cases will file police cases for protection, but it is very much present in high class families as well, who on the other hand will not file any case because of social ranks and the place of their spouses in society.

Responsible ministry and sub divisions

In order to reduce domestic violence against women and children, the government has set up the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. One of the main branches of this ministry is the family welfare unit which is the responsible body for the application of mechanisms to reduce domestic violence and promote family welfare on the island. The hotline to reach the ministry in time of need is 119 or the head office can be contacted at 206-3802. Set up in 1995, the child development unit takes care of abused children in cooperation with the police force and other associations (drop in centres) and operates 24hr/day. The hotline can be reached at 113 or 206-3742 for the head office. The foster care system is another branch of the ministry that deals with abused children in their biological families, relocate them in foster families and ensures that they are treated right for their better development once placed there (can be reached on 206-3751).

Legislation

Though a number of campaigns, projects have been used to reduce and sensitize the public regarding domestic violence in Mauritius, it remains a real issue. To reflect the zest of the government to decrease this problem, a number of protocols like the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, CEDAW have been ratified while Amnesty Mauritius makes it a must to ensure that all human rights are respected when it comes to violence. There is also a number of laws and lawyers regarding domestic violence. For instance, any person who has been the victim of domestic violence and feels that he/she is not safe can make provision of a protection order where the aggrieved cannot reach the victim or must stay away from him/her. Similarly, an occupation order is a lawsuit for the victim to live safely in the house of the spouse or belonging to both of them while a tenancy order is where the victim has full legal rights over the house appliances and furniture found in the house.

What to do in case of domestic violence?

Many people tend to forget that they are free and cannot accept to be ill treated as per human rights. Once you pass it off as negligible (unless it does really seem so), domestic violence can become a very bad habit and dangerous one too. The best thing to do when you feel that your spouse is getting too stressed and can do violent things is to just walk away (if you are used to such atrocities, be prepared first). He/she can try to not let you go but make your intentions clear because you do not have to suffer for someone else’s incomprehensible behaviour. Once out, you can either file a police case or go to a shelter for assistance or even call the hotlines for help. The government provides services for women and children such as psychological follow up, activities, legal assistance, counselling in order for the victims to regain full control of their lives and to live as pleasantly as everyone else.

yonne
yonne Published 06 Jun 2011

10 Comments

Ba
BadFundodo 23 Jan 2016

Et pa bat dumone do..Pas bon!! kan sa arriver al dir papi ek mami.

lo
lovebygrace 20 Aug 2013

hi
I know someone being beaten up by her husband in front of kids (5 and 7 years), the husband is a police warden, beaten like a prisoner :-(

but she don't want to report, please how can she be helped, the kids are suffering morally they are disturbed.

gices 21 Aug 2013

If the children can tell what is happening to Child Protection Unit (call 113), they may be able to help.

Otherwise, the wife needs to come forward and report what is happening. You, and other people who care for her, need to encourage her to confess what she is going through to the Family Welfare Unit.

Or, if you (or someone else) have witnessed the abuse, they can report it to the police.

lo
lovebygrace 21 Aug 2013

THXX

she reported to police and now want to divorce, her husband taken her passport, id, bank cards, and infront of police he denied it. she need a lawyer but can't afford, as her husband using all her earnings

Br
Broken 29 Jul 2013

What to do I am a victim of domestic violence and husband threatens to leave home if whether I go to police or hospital?

Peaches 29 Jul 2013

Like mentioned above call 206-3802 for advice and support, if your husband threatens to leave home then let him leave, you're better off without him.

em
emma_6 18 Aug 2012

what a joke the whole system in mauritius is.. my sister is being beaten up by her husband who is very well known to people and has many friends at the right places. every time she is hurt by him she phone her family who encourages her to report to the police. very relunctantly with head down she goes. at the POLICE station the policemen who are also friend of the abuser laugh and show mockery comments. she insist to take the report seriously. she fills all the forms to her best ability as she is not educated well. they carry on making comment as you should never report your husband madam. go home and make up with him. yet they can visually see all the bruises, cuts broken bones hospital admissions clearly battered. What do you call this system? JUSTICE???????????????

Peaches 18 Aug 2012

How sad, I too find Mauritius to be terrible in these matters, the police force in Mauritius is indeed a joke! I'm sure there are women shelters that can help her move out and re-build her life, may be you could try finding more information on that?

gices 18 Aug 2012

Ask your sister to call this number 206-3802 so that they can offer better advice and protection to her. The police case reference number would be handy and if she has photographic evidence as well, that will surely help to get a restraining order against the husband.

em
emma_6 19 Aug 2012

Thank you all for your advice. i have given her this number to call and i hope she gets the right help. she is also trying to get a solicitor who can be trusted and will take her case seriously.
It is such a shame that such a beautiful small island can have such corrupt justice system. difficult to trust the lawyers, the police. not even the charities set up to help. They just watch and collect all the praises and the government ha? say no more.....