Surveys of National Laws
last updated August 2013
Bulgaria: the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence (LPADV) (BGRF's unofficial translation sponsored by the Bulgarian Fund for Women) entered into force March 2005. The law defines domestic violence as: “any act of physical, mental or sexual violence, and any attempted such violence, as well as the forcible restriction of individual freedom and of privacy, carried out against individuals who have or have had family or kinship ties or cohabit or dwell in the same home.” Under Article 5, “[p]rotection against domestic violence shall be implemented through any of the following: (1) placing the respondent under an obligation to refrain from applying domestic violence; (2) removing the respondent from the common dwelling-house for a period specified by the court; (3) prohibiting the respondent from getting in the vicinity of the home, the place of work, and the places where the victim has his or her social contacts or recreation…; (4) temporarily relocating the residence of the child with the parent who is the victim or with the parent who has not carried out the violent act at stake…; [and] (5) placing the respondent under an obligation to attend specialised programmes….”A protection order under the first four of these measures may be implemented for up to one year.
Moldova:  the Law on Preventing and Combating Family Violence entered into force September 2008. The new Law on Domestic Violence defines, for the first time, what constitutes domestic violence. Additionally, the Law’s framework states plainly that violence against women is a criminal offense and defines appropriate punishments for perpetrators. The law was amended in 2010 according to Law No. 167. Articles 7, 8, and 11 of Law 45-XVI were supplemented to increase authorities and institutions responsible for preventing and combating family violence and to broaden the victim’s right to protection and services.
Georgia: The first Georgian law on domestic violence came into effect on June 9, 2006.  In this law, the definition of domestic violence goes beyond physical violence to include psychological, economic, and sexual violence.  The law however, does not explicitly criminalize domestic violence. Instead, perpetrators of domestic violence are prosecuted under existing criminal provisions, such as prohibitions on battery or rape. Additionally, the 2006 law allows victims of domestic violence to file immediate protective orders against their abusers and permits police to issue a temporary restrictive order against persons suspected of abusing a family member.  The temporary order is approved by a court within 24 hours and becomes a protective order that prohibits the abuser from coming within 100 meters of the victim and from using common property for six months.
Albania: the Law on Measures Against Violence in Family Relations entered into force 1 June 2007.The law defined domestic violence as “any act of violence … committed between persons who are or used to be in a family relation,” violence being “any act or omission of one person against another, resulting in violation of the physical, moral, psychological, sexual, social and economic integrity.” The law also organized the government into a coordinated network against domestic violence by identifying five “responsible authorities” (the lead authority is the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities). It empowered the judiciary by identifying more than ten protection measures which courts could include in protection orders. Additionally, it provides for expedited victim assistance through an emergency protection order, which a court must decide on within 48 hours of the petition’s filing. 
Bosnia & Herzegovina: In the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence (2013) has been improved so that it now provides a much more effective approach to the protection and care of victims of domestic violence. The important amendments relate to the extension of the concept of domestic violence, so now it includes “the use of physical violence or causing fear in order to disable the economic independence by banning of work  or keeping a family member in dependency or subordination, the use of physical and psychological violence and neglect against children in their education, physical and psychological violence against old, disabled persons and neglect in their care and treatment, forcible isolation or restraint of a family member, failing to act and failure to provide assistance and protection to a family member despite the obligations under the law.”
Additional resources:

Legislationline,[1] provided by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union, contains links to domestic legislation on violence against women from 55 countries in CEE/FSU, Europe and North America. Legislationline also provides links to the law of the United Nations and the Council of Europe on violence against women.
The UN Secretary-General’s Database on Violence against Women provides public access to information provided by member states and UN entities related to violence against women.
World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)[2] is a free, independent, and non-profit legal research facility.
Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)[3] is a cooperative federation of government agencies or their designees who contribute national statutes, regulations, and related materials to the GLIN database for public access.
Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems[4] is a human rights search engine, which allows users to search over 5000 human rights websites.
Universal Human Rights Index[5] is a United Nations database that provides access to country-specific human rights information.
Institute Law and Justice[6] conducts research, evaluation, and training in criminal justice, including violence against women.
Bora Laskin Library for Human Rights[7] provides online access to resources specific to violence against women. 
Cornell University Avon Global Center for Women and Justice[8] provides access to international and regional instruments and case law relating to gender-based violence.
The Council of Europe published Legislation in the member States of the Council of Europe in the field of violence against women (EG (2009) 3 Volumes I and II). Volume 1 (Armenia to Lithuania) and Volume II (Moldova to United Kingdom) of this publication contain an overview of laws relating to violence against women in each of the Member States.

[1] Legislationonline, accessed August 14, 2013,
[2] World Legal Information Institute, accessed August 14, 2013,
[3] Global Legal Information Network, accessed August 13, 2014,
[4] Human Rights Information and Documentation System, accessed August 14, 2013,
[5] Universal Human Rights Index, accessed August 14, 2013,
[6] Institute for Law and Justice, accessed August 14, 2013,
[7] Women’s Human Rights Resources Database, accessed August 14, 2013,
[8]Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, accessed August 14, 2013,
[9] UNDP Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe and CIS, Drafting Gender-Aware Legislation: How to Promote and Protect Gender Equality in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (2003), accessed August 14, 2013,
[10] General Assembly, Res. 65/228. Strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women, UN Doc. A/Res/65/228, 31 March 2011, accessed August 7, 2013.