Human Rights and Domestic Violence Fact Sheets

Domestic violence is a violation of women’s human rights and governments have an obligation to take reasonable and effective measures to prevent, investigate, punish and redress domestic violence. Human rights arguments and domestic and international complaints mechanisms can be used to advocate for individual women and to support arguments for changes to law, policy and practice.

The Human Rights Law Centre has produced a series of fact sheets that outline human rights obligations relevant to domestic violence. Each fact sheet has a thematic focus. They cover human rights, domestic violence and:

Domestic and family violence is one of the most prevalent, pervasive and serious human rights violations in Australia. One in three Australian women has experienced violence from a partner or ex-partner. A woman is killed in Australia almost every week by a partner or ex-partner. In 2010 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women commented on "the unacceptably high levels of violence against women that persist in Australia."

International human rights law requires that governments take effective measures to prevent and respond to prevent, investigate, punish and remedy domestic violence. Human rights laws also impose specific obligations around how particular authorities - for example, police, prosecutors, legislators and housing authorities – respond to individual cases of domestic and family violence.

If you want to discuss a particular issue covered in the fact sheets, please contact the HRLC.