Last Updated May, 2010
Legislation should provide widows the right to a civil claim for compensation for harms suffered, such as violence or property grabbing. Such a claim should give the victim the option of suing for an injunction, restitution of the property or cash compensation. Legislation should include provisions which provide for restitution or compensation to the complainant/survivor either through the criminal proceedings or through a separate tort law. See: UN Handbook 3.11.5. Legislation should abolish requirements that forbid women to bring lawsuits against her in-laws, or that require the consent of a family member to bring a lawsuit. See: UN Handbook 3.12.1. Laws should provide for legal aid to assist widows in bringing such claims.
For example, the law of Malaysia addresses compensation in the context of domestic violence. It states that a victim of domestic violence is entitled to compensation in the court’s discretion:
Where a victim of domestic violence suffers personal injuries or damage to property or financial loss as a result of the domestic violence, the court hearing a claim for compensation may award such compensation in respect of the injury or damage or loss as it deems just and reasonable.
(2) The court hearing a claim for such compensation may take into account—
(a) the pain and suffering of the victim, and the nature and extent of the physical or mental injury suffered;
(b) the cost of medical treatment for such injuries;
(c) any loss of earnings arising therefrom;
(d) the amount or value of the property taken or destroyed or damaged;
(e) necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the victim when the victim is compelled to separate or be separated from the
defendant due to the domestic violence, such as—
(i) lodging expenses to be contributed to a safe place or shelter;
(ii) transport and moving expenses;
(iii) the expenses required in setting up a separate household which, subject to subsection (3), may include amounts representing such housing loan payments or rental payments or part thereof, in respect of the shared residence, or alternative residence, as the case may be, for such period as the court considers just and reasonably necessary. (Part III,10)
The Advocates for Human Rights Site Map About the Site
330 Second Avenue South, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA Phone: (612) 341-3302 Fax: (612) 341-2971 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Stop Violence Against Women endeavors to provide useful and accurate information, Stop Violence Against Women does not warrant the accuracy of the materials provided. Accordingly, this Web Site and its information are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular use or purpose, or non-infringement. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusion may not apply to you. We reserve the right to make improvements and/or changes in the format and/or content of the information contained on the Web Site without notice.This information is provided with the understanding that Stop Violence Against Women and its partners are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Copyright © 2010 The Advocates for Human Rights. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution to The Advocates for Human Rights.