Research and Reports by Institution
last updated July 10, 2006
United Nations

Good practices in legislation on violence against women, Expert group meeting organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2008. (PDF, 76 pages) For the Russian version of the report recommendations, click here.

The purpose of the expert group meeting was to analyze different legislative approaches for addressing violence against women; assess lessons learned and identify good practices in regard to legal reforms on violence against women; and develop a model framework for legislation on violence against women. The outcome of the meeting is intended to assist States and other stakeholders in enhancing existing, and developing new, legislation on violence against women.

Addressing Violence Against Women and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals. World Health Organization Department of Gender, Women and Health (September 2005). (PDF, 51 pages).
This report examines how violence against women impedes development and how the achievement of specific Millennium Development Goals can help prevent violence against women.

The Economic Dimensions of Interpersonal Violence, Department Injuries and Violence Prevention,  World Health Organization,  2004. (PDF, 70 pages).
This report focuses on the following three areas: 

  • The economic effects of interpersonal violence in a variety of socioeconomic and cultural settings.
  • The economic effects of interventions intended to reduce interpersonal violence.
  • The effects of economic conditions and policies on interpersonal violence – with particular reference to poverty, structural adjustment, income equality and social investment.

Women and HIV/AIDS: Confronting the Crisis, UNAIDS/UNFPA/UNIFEM, 2004.

2004 United Nations Population Fund Report on State of World Population, The Cairo Consensus at Ten: Population, Reproductive Health and the Global Effort to End Poverty. (Available in PDF, 124 pages).  Also available in Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian.
The report contains section that discusses national legislation on women’s rights and progress made by different countries in that area. 

Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective, Summary Record of the 38th Meeting of the Commission on Human Rights (April 2004) (PDF).
This report contains summary of speeches, on the issue of violence against women,  made by  the leaders of the international organizations working on human rights of women.

Preventing Violence, A Guide to Implementing the Recommendations of the World Report on Violence and Health. World Health Organization, 2004 (Available in PDF, 92 pages).
This report discusses issues on how to collect data, research, promote the primary prevention of interpersonal violence.  It provides information on promotion of gender and social equity, on support services for victims and on development of a national plan of action

Not a Minute More: Ending Violence Against Women, United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), 2003 (PDF, 114 pages).
This report highlights the substantial achievements and advancements in women’s human rights over the past few decades, suggests reasons for the continued pandemic of violence against women, and outlines the next steps in eradicating gender-based violence through collaboration and partnerships.

Domestic Violence Against Women in Albania, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2003. (PDF, 67 pages).
This qualitative report examines the prevalence of domestic violence in Albania, including forms of domestic violence and complicating factors.

2003 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Developments in the area of violence against women (1994-2002) (E/CN.4/2003/75 and Corr.1) (6 January 2003). (Available in PDF and Word, 24 pages).
Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy's final report to the Commission on Human Rights "focuses on developments at the international, regional and national levels aimed at eliminating violence against women since 1994 when the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was created." Paragraph 2. Paragraphs twenty-six through thirty-six discuss domestic violence.

The right of every one to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Report of the Special Rapporteur, Paul Hunt (E/CN.4/2003/58) (13 February 2003). (Available in PDF and Word, 32 pages).
Discusses in paragraph sixty-five the way in which violence compounds women's vulnerability to ill health.

Addendum 1 to the Special Rapporteur's 2003 Report, International, regional and national developments in the area of violence against women 1994-2003 (E/CN.4/2003/75/Add.1) (27 February 2003). (Available in PDF and Word, 434 pages).
Discusses developments in the Asia/Pacific region (including the countries of the former Soviet Union) at pages 165-222 and in the Eastern European region at pages 335-388. Best practices in the field of violence against women are discussed at pages 392-397.

2002 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Cultural Practices in the Family that Are Violence Towards Women (E/CN.4/2002/83) (31 January 2002). (Available in PDF and Word, 39 pages).
Documents cultural practices within the family (i.e., wife burning, honor killings, foot binding, son preference) that constitute violence against women, as well as the ideologies that perpetuate and render invisible these cultural practices. Many of these ideologies—such as the connection between masculinity and violence and the regulation of female sexuality—are also those that perpetuate domestic violence. The Special Rapporteur emphasizes that states "should not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligation to eradicate violence against women and the girl child in the family."

The addendum to the 2002 Report (E/CN.4/2002/83/Add.1) (28 January 2002) (Available in PDF and Word, 41 pages). Contains country information on Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.

In her statement to the Commission on Human Rights on 10 April 2002, as she presented her 2002 report on cultural practices in the family that violate the rights of women, the Special Rapporteur discusses the causes and consequences of violence against women and notes the connection between the use of violence as a means of conflict resolution and high levels of domestic violence.

First World Report on Violence and Health, World Health Organization (2002). (PDF, 372 pages; 54-page summary in PDF, press releases and fact sheets available). Chapter 4 of the First World Report on Violence and Health (pages 87- 121) discusses the scope, dynamics, and health and economic consequences of intimate partner violence, responses to domestic violence (including support for victims, legal remedies, treatment for batterers, health service interventions, and coordinated community responses), and specific recommendations for responding to domestic violence (pages 111-113). The Report concludes with general recommendations for responses to violence at local, national and international levels (pages 241-254).

Report of the Secretary General on the Elimination of all forms of violence against women, including crimes identified in the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" (A/57/171) (2 July 2002).
Discusses the activities of the Member States and of the United Nations on the issue of violence against women.

World Health Report 2002: Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life, World Health Organization (2002).(Available in PDF and Word, 230 pages). An overview is available in Arabic, Chinese, Russian.
This report discusses the most important risks to human health that lead to disability and death. It also shows that if those risks are reduced in the next 20 years there will be less human suffering.

Violence Against Women Perpetrated and/or Condoned by the State During Times of Armed Conflict(E/CN.4/2001/73) (23 January 2001). (Available in PDF and Word, 45 pages).
This report discusses the relationship between violence during war, militarization and violence against women, including domestic violence in refugee camps and the correlation between domestic violence and violence during war.

Review of Reports, Studies and Other Documentation for the Preparatory Committee and the World Conference, Note by the Secretary-General, transmission of contribution by Special Rapporteur Radhika Coomaraswamy to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on the subject of race, gender and violence against women (A/CONF.189/PC.3/5) (27 July 2001). (Available in PDF and Word, 64 pages).
In this report to the World Conference on Racism, the Special Rapporteur on Violence describes some of the ways in which race, gender and violence against women intersect. In particular, the Special Rapporteur emphasizes that battered women who belong to marginalized groups often confront additional obstacles, such as language barriers or cultural insensitivity, to protecting themselves from violence.

In April 2001, the Commission on Human Rights issued Resolution 2001/49 in which it, among other things, welcomed the Special Rapporteur's 2001 report, condemned domestic violence and battering as a human rights violation, and urged states to consider signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Women's Convention.

Fact Sheet: Gender and HIV/AIDS, UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS (25-27 June 2001).

Turning the Tide: CEDAW and the Gender Dimensions of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic, United Nations Development Fund for Women (2001).
Chapter 3 discusses gender-based violence and sexual exploitation.

Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: Setting the Research Agenda—Meeting Report, World Health Organization (23-25 October 2000). (PDF, 33 pages). 
This report discusses how violence can contribute to the vulnerability to HIV infection for women.  Forced sex and women’s inability to negotiate the circumstances in which sex takes place increase risk of HIV infection. 

State of the World Population 2000: Lives Together, Worlds Apart: Men and Women in a Time of Change, United Nations Population Fund (2000).
Chapter 3: Ending Violence against Women and Girls discusses violence against women, including domestic violence, and the impact of violence on women's reproductive health.

Gender and Racial Discrimination: Report of the Expert Group Meeting, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Development Fund for Women, Zagreb, Croatia (21-24 November 2000).
This report emphasizes that while domestic violence is often understood only as a gender issue, for some women, the right to freedom from domestic violence may be compromised by restrictions on their autonomy that are related to their marginalized status.

Building on Achievements: Women's Human Rights Five Years After Beijing, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (May 2000).
Includes section on gender equality and the family.

2000 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Trafficking in Women, Women's Migration and Violence Against Women (E/CN.4/2000/68) (29 February 2000). (Available in PDF and Word, 38 pages).
The Special Rapporteur's 2000 report discusses some of the connections between migration and trafficking in women and domestic violence.

Economic and Social Policy and Its Impact on Violence Against Women (E/CN.4/2000/68/Add.5) (24 February 2000). (Available in PDF and Word, 20 pages).

The Addendum to the Special Rapporteur's 2000 report discusses the connections between economic and social policies and violence against women, including the relationship between housing policies and domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls, UNICEF, Innocenti Digest, vol. 6 (2000). (PDF, 30 pages).
UNICEF's report discusses the scope and magnitude of the problem, causes and consequences of domestic violence, the socio-economic costs of violence, strategies and interventions, and state obligations with regard to domestic violence.

Addendum to the 1999 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Policies and Practices that Impact Women's Reproductive Rights and Contribute to, Cause or Constitute Violence Against Women (E/CN.4/1999/68/Add.4) (21 January 1999).
The Special Rapporteur discusses the ways in which violence against women contributes to violations of women's reproductive rights by limiting the choices they can make about their health and sexuality. The report emphasizes that "[s]exuality and reproduction is one of the many ways in which batterers seek to exercise power and control over battered women." Battered women are often required to take substantial risks in order to seek reproductive health services or prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Gender and HIV/AIDS: Taking Stock of research and programmes, UNAIDS (UNAIDS/99.16E) (March 1999).

1998 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Alternative Approaches and Ways and Means Within the United Nations System for Improving the Effective Enjoyment of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (E/CN.4/1998/54) (26 January 1998).
In her 1999 report, the Special Rapporteur discusses violence against women during armed conflict, custodial violence against women, and violence against refugee and internally displaced women.

1997 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Alternative Approaches and Ways and Means Within the United Nations System for Improving the Effective Enjoyment of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedomes (E/CN.4/1997/47) (12 February 1997).
In her 1997 report, the Special Rapporteur examines violence in the community, rape and sexual violence against women, trafficking in women, and forced prostitution.

Stop Violence Against Women: Fight Aids, The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS.

1996 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Further Promotion and Encouragement of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (E/CN.4/1996/53) (6 February 1996).
The Special Rapporteur discusses the problem of violence against women in the family, examines this violence as a violation of international human rights law, analyzes reports on state compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, discusses national and model legislation on domestic violence, and offers recommendations on ways to combat and remedy the consequences of violence within the family.

Gender Dimensions of Racial Discrimination, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (PDF, 31 pages).
Includes discussion of the gendered dimension of domestic violence.

Empower Women, Halt HIV/AIDS, UNIFEM.

United Nations' reports on issues concerning women's rights that are issued in the future may be located at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website, Documents on Women's Rights. This site includes documents produced by the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women and the Economic and Social Council, many of which are listed in this compilation. A reference number may be necessary to locate a specific document.

European Union
The Daphne Experience 1997-2003: Europe Against Violence Towards Children and Women, European Commission Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security (2005). (PDF, 72 pages).
This report describes the efforts European States made during the time period to combat violence against women, including domestic violence, through the Daphne Initiative and the Daphne Program. It also presents background information on violence against women.

Recommendations from EU Presidency Conference on Violence against Women, Dublin (June 2004).
The conference urges all EU Member State Governments to create a proposal for a legal base on violence against women.  EU states are also recommended to provide support for victims of violence against women and treat violence against women as a violation of women’s human rights.

Annual Report on Human Rights in the World in 2003 and the European Union’s Policy on the Matter:2004.  The European Parliament report from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy  (May 2004) (PDF, 54 pages).
According to the report although 53 states are parties to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination violence against women, including genital mutilation, rape in wartime and trafficking in women remain to be a problem.  Several recommendations on how EU community in its external relations should deal with violations of women’s rights, are outlined in the report

Report on the Situation as Regards Fundamental Rights in the European Union. The European Parliament report from the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs. (March 2004) (PDF, 87 pages).
Discusses need of the Member States to combat and eliminate violence against women and children in Europe.  To combat violence the Committee recommends development of a common definition of domestic violence and establishment of a more appropriate legal basis than Article 152 of the EC Treaty. 

Report on Women in South-East Europe.  The European Parliament report from the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities. (March 2004) (PDF, 15 pages).
The committee reports that the struggle to combat violence against women and particularly domestic violence in all the countries of South-East Europe is not well organized.  

Report on Afghanistan: Challenges and Prospects for the  Future. The European Parliament report from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy. (January 2004) (PDF, 24 pages).
Discusses that since the regime change in Afghanistan there was little improvement in the situation of women and girls.  Women are denied their fundamental human rights and are abused both in the family and in the society. 

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Daphne Programme (2000-2003): January 2002, Commission of the European Communities, (SEC(2002) 338), 8 April 2002. [PDF, 26 pages].

Commission Final Report to the European Parliament and the Council on The Daphne Program (2000-2003), European Commission, March 2004. [PDF, 63 pages].

EWL's Daphne Project 2002-2003, European Women's Lobby. 

Towards a Common European Framework to Monitor Progress in Combating Violence Against Women, European Women's Lobby, Policy Action Centre on Violence against Women (2001). (PDF, 40 pages).
Contains proposals for policies and indicators that could form the basis for a tool to monitor State progress in combating violence against women, as well as case studies of European initiatives that illustrate good practices. The Special Rapporteur's 2003 Report notes at paragraph 2169 that this guide is being used by the European Women's Lobby "to collate information and data on violence against women with the EU member States."

Report from the Commission to the Council, The European Parliament, The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Annual Report on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the European Union 2000, Commission of the European Communities, 2 April 2001. [PDF, 39 pages].
Devotes a brief section (page 34) to domestic violence and, in particular, domestic violence in candidate countries.

Breaking the Silence, European Communities, 2000. [PDF, 13 pages].
Provides background information on domestic violence in Europe and describes the European Commission's awareness-raising zero tolerance campaign.

Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the European Union: 1999, Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions COM(2000) (8 March 2000).
Discusses the activities of the European Union and individual member States in working to eliminate violence against women, including the Eurobarometer (a study of European attitudes toward violence against women) and the Daphne Programme.

"Unveiling the Hidden Data on Domestic Violence in the European Union," European Women's Lobby, November 1999.

Recommendations of the EU-Expert Meeting, Jyväskylä, Conference of Experts—Police Combating Violence Against Women, Jyväskylä (November 1999).

Eurobarometer 51.0: Europeans and their Opinion about Domestic Violence against Women, (June 1999). (PDF, 133 pages).
Describes the findings of a survey of European public opinion on the issue of domestic violence conducted for the European Commission's Directorate-General X, "Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual Media," Women's Information Sector.

Recommendations of the EU-Expert Meeting, Cologne, Conference of Experts—Police Combating Violence Against Women, Cologne (March 1999).

Recommendations of the EU-Experts Meeting, Baden, Conference of Experts—Police Combating Violence Against Women, Baden (December 1998).

Briefing 26: Women's rights and the enlargement of the European Union, Europarl (14 July 1998).
Briefly discusses the scope of and legislation regarding violence against women in candidate countries.

Council of Europe

 

Analytical Study Of The Results of the Fourth Round of Monitoring the Implementation of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the Protection of Women against Violence in Council of Europe member states, Prepared by Dr Carol Hagemann-White, Council of Europe, Gender Equality Commission (2014). This is the fourth report on the implementation of the Council of Europe Recommendation on the protection of women against violence. It presents data gathered in 2013 on measures to protect women from violence in 46 of 47 Council of Europe states, including law and polices, support services and shelters, public awareness, media and education activities, research and data collection. The Recommendation has been “superseded” by the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (“Istanbul Convention”), which will enter into force on August 1, 2014. Subsequent reports on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention will be prepared by a group of experts, called GREVIO.

 

Combating Violence Against Women, Prof. Dr. Carol Hagemann-White, Judith Katenbrink, and Heike Rabe, Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (2006). (PDF, 68 pages).
This report examines the measures and actions taken by the Council of Europe member States to combat violence against women, including an examination of their monitoring processes and recommendations. It also includes linking domestic violence with immigration law, as well as linking punishment for domestic violence perpetrators to child contact regulation.

 

Forced Marriages in Council of Europe Member States: A Comparative Study of Legislation and Political Initiatives, Edwige Rude-Antoine, Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (2005). (PDF, 132 pages).
This report examines the relationship between forced marriage and violence against women, including domestic violence. It also includes a country-by-country breakdown of law provisions applicable to forced marriage and domestic violence.

 

Violence Within the Family: The Place and Role of Men, Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (6-7 December 2005). (PDF, 152 pages).
This report contains speeches examining the roots of domestic violence as well as the role men can play in stopping family violence and protecting victims.

 

Therapeutic Treatment of Men Perpetrators of Violence within the Family, Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (18-19 November 2004). (PDF, 136 pages).
These seminar proceedings contain speeches describing the types of therapeutic, counseling and support programs for men perpetrators in various European countries and also programs for the women victims.

 

Measures Dealing with Men Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, Equality Division of the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (25-26 June 2003). (PDF, 102 pages).
This report examines proposals of legal, therapeutic, law enforcement, social, and societal measures for men perpetrators of domestic violence.

 

The Protection of Women against Violence, Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection of women against violence, adopted on 30 April 2002, and Explanatory Memorandum. [PDF, 52 pages].
The Explanatory Memorandum (page 18) contains information about the history of efforts to combat violence against women in Europe, legislative differences between member States, and the reasons for the choices that were made in the Recommendation.

 

Men and Violence Against Women, Proceedings (EG/SEM/VIO (99) 21), 5 April 2000. [PDF, 175 pages].
Includes papers presented at a conference in Strasbourg on 7-8 October 1999. The conference focused on scholarly and theoretical issues relating to the causes of male violence, including trans-cultural representations of male violence, psychoanalytical and feminist theories of male violence, and socio-economic factors and the use of violence.

 

Violence against Women in Europe: Report (Doc. 8667), Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, 15 March 2000.
The report includes the Parliamentary Assembly's recommendations to the Council of Ministers regarding violence against women, the Committee's draft recommendation, and an explanatory memorandum that details the scope and prevalence of violence against women in Europe. On 3 April 2000, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Recommendation 1450 (2000), Violence Against Women in Europe .

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Ending Domestic Violence: Action and Measures, Proceedings of the Forum at Bucharest, Romania, 26-28 November 1998 (EG/BUC (99) 1), 2000.
Includes the texts of statements and speeches, reports of thematic discussions, working group conclusions, and general conclusions from a conference attended by government representatives, policy makers, NGOs, scholars, educators, and legal and medical professionals from Council of Europe member States. Participants discussed the historical development of the battered women's movement in Europe, outlined emerging challenges in combating domestic violence, and evaluated specific measures adopted in the member States to protect victims and hold batterers accountable.

 

Steering Committee for Equality Between Women and Men: Summary of the Plan of Action to Combat Violence Against Women, Shelia Henderson, (EG-S-VL (98)), June 1998.
Part One of the report describes the Council of Europe's Group of Specialists' findings with respect to the nature of violence against women, the scope of the problem, the work that has been undertaken, and current challenges and problems. Part Two of the report describes the Council's Plan of Action for governments. The Plan of Action articulates recommendations for the areas of legislation and policy, education and awareness-raising, victim support and assistance, and research and monitoring.

 

Although many of these may not be available on-line, the Council of Europe also provides a list of its documents on equality between men and women. Documentation centers, from which these documents may be obtained, are located in each member country. Additional information about the actions taken by the Council of Europe to combat violence against women are available through the Council's October 2002 Fact Sheet on violence against women.

 

Legislation in the Member States of the Council of Europe in the Field of Violence Against Women, prepared in part by Jill Radford, United Kingdom, for the Council of Europe's Steering Committee for Equality Between Men and Women, March 2004 (Doc. EG 2004 2).
This report details national legislation dealing with violence against women in 38 of the 45 Council of Europe member states. In 1995, the Council requested member states to complete a questionnaire on relevant legislation, and subsequent research completed by the Council allowed for a survey of the varying legislation of member states. The report consists of two volumes, ending with a list of good practices and effective legislation prohibiting violence against women. Sections 1.2 and 4.0 within each national summary contains information, if available, on domestic violence legislation and penalties.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Final Report, OSCE Conference on Violence Against Women in the 21st Century, Paris, 28-29 April 2005 (29 November 2005). (PDF, 40 pages). Includes both French and English versions.
This report describes the level of current international attention to and action to stop violence against women. It also discusses the link between violence against women and HIV/AIDS, as well as makes recommendations to States for further action.

Briefing: Domestic Violence in the OSCE Region, 7 September 2001. [Testimony available in PDF and HTML].
Panelists Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman of the Helsinki Commission; Winnie Bartel, Executive Chair of the World Evangelical Fellowship; Robin Phillips, Executive Director of The Advocates for Human Rights; and Nancy Murphy, Executive Director of NW Family Life Learning and Counseling Center, testified before the OSCE on domestic violence in the region.

Gender Action Plan: June 2000 - June 2001, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), September 2001.
Discusses ODIHR activities that address gender-based violence in the OSCE region.

Final Report, OSCE Supplementary Implementation Meeting: Gender Issues, Vienna, 14-15 June 1999. [PDF, 19 pages].
Annex I sets forth the keynote address by Martina Vandenberg of Human Rights watch, in which she identifies some of the key problems facing women in the OSCE region. The body of the report documents the discussions of and the non-binding recommendations developed by the meeting's working groups for actions in the economic, security, and political spheres.