What are the victim’s rights for Domestic Violence in the UAE?

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects people all over the world, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fortunately, for the UAE the government in 2019 launched the Family protection Policy which caters to women, children,

the elderly and people of determination to protect them from any type of violence and abuse. The UAE government has enacted laws to protect victims of Domestic Violence and provide them with a variety of legal rights.

The Federal Decree Law no.10/2019 On the Protection of Domestic Violence, under Article 3 defines domestic violence as every action, utterance, abuse, mischief or threat committed by a family member against another family member, surpassing his custody, guardianship, support, power or responsibility and may result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm or abuse.

Further Federal Decree Law no. 10/2019, under Article 5 lists out the actions that shall be deem as domestic violence, such as:

  • Physical Abuse: Means any harm to the body of the abused person by any means, even if no mark is left by such harm.
  • Psychological Abuse: Means any action or utterance that causes psychological injury of the abused person.
  • Sexual Abuse: Means any action considered as a sexual assault or harassment, or exploitation in any way, of the abused person.
  • Economic Abuse: Means any action that deprives the abused person of his right or freedom to dispose of his money, with the intention of causing him harm.

Furthermore, the UAE laws also provide certain legal rights to the victims of domestic abuse:

File a complaint: The victims of domestic violence have the right to report the abuse to the police. The UAE criminal procedure law allows the victims to file a criminal complaint against their abuser. The police are then required to investigate the matter and take necessary actions to ensure the safety of the victim.

Protective Order: The victims of domestic violence have the right to seek a protection order from the court. Protection Orders are legal documents that prohibit an abuser from contacting or coming near the victim. In the UAE the Victims have the right to seek a Protection Order as mentioned in the Federal Decree Law no. 10/2019 under Article 6, it states that the Public Prosecution may automatically or based on the application of the victim, issue a protection order that orders the abuser to do the following:

  1. Not to harm the abused person.
  2. Not to approach the places established for the protection of the abused person or any other place stated in the protection order.
  3. Not to harm the personal properties or any family member of the abused person.
  4. Enable the abused person or anyone delegated thereby to receive his necessary personal effects.
  5. Any other procedures that the Public Prosecution thinks to include in the protection order that may provide effective protection to the abused person or any person who would possibly be harmed due to his relation with the abused person.

Medical Care and Counseling: Victims of domestic violence also have the right to access medical care and counseling Services. In the UAE there are a number of hospitals and clinics that provide medical care to victims of domestic violence. The victims may seek counseling from a variety of sources, including the police, the courts and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Legal Representation: Should a victim of domestic violence decide to press charges against the abuser, they have a right to legal representation. The constitution of UAE guarantees the right to a fair trial, which includes the right to legal representation. Victims may choose to hire their own lawyer.

Compensation: Victims of Domestic violence have a right to compensation for any damages that they have suffered as a result of the abuse. This may also include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages etc.

In conclusion, the UAE has enacted laws to protect victims of domestic violence and provide them with a variety of legal rights. Victims have the right to report the incident to the police, seek a protection order from the court against their abuser, access medical care and counseling services, legal representation and claim compensation for damages. It is essential that the victims of such domestic abuse are aware of their rights and seek help if they are experiencing domestic violence.


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