Seminars To Be Held To Address Rise In Domestic Violence
Riyadh, 28/05/2005-Following several recent reports in the Saudi news media on cases of domestic violence, the Saudi National Human Rights Association (SNHRA) has reported that there has recently been an alarming rise in the number of complaints made in relation to domestic family violence. Dr Abu Bakr Ahmad Bakader, the Vice-President of the Family and Child Committee in the SNHRA, told Al Sharq Al-Awsat, that due to the increase in domestic violence complaints made by Saudi citizens, his Association is organising workshops and seminars, to provide a forum for discussion on ways to address the issues of domestic violence. In addition, they are preparing to establish a database to monitor and arrange relevant information.
Dr Bakader stated that although his Association did not have the right to take any formal action, as this responsibility lay with executive members at relevant Ministries, the SNHRA’s role was complementary to the official authorities. Dr Bakader explained, “In our capacity as a civil society institution, we must follow each case until we are able to find a solution”.
When questioned on the steps being taken by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Dr Bakader replied, “The Ministry has made positive efforts, which should be recognised. The Ministry will play a central role in defining the roots of this problem, through considering more cases and unearthing the central issues”. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat has previously published an article on the special department established at the Ministry of Social Affairs, to address cases of domestic violence. The creation of this department was driven by the increased popular demand to find solutions for issues of domestic violence. Dr Bakader stressed that as Saudi society continues to progress, there is a greater call for clear, open and frank discussion of issues, where answers are clearly provided to questions raised.