More than one third of female unnatural deaths here due to intimate partner violence

More than one third of female deaths in Sri Lanka is due to issues related to intimate partner violence (IPV), a report ‘Unnatural Deaths Of Women And Girls In Sri Lanka (Prevention And Justice)’ by UNFPA states.

"In 36% of homicides alleged perpetrator was the legal husband/lover/ex-lover while in 21% a blood relative. 8% of the deceased women had reported IPV to law enforcement agencies at least once while (3%) had reported more than 3 times," it states.

The UNFPA has found that Police and preliminary forensic investigations of unnatural female deaths were concluded within 24 hours in more than 80% of the cases.

"A majority of interviewees were comparatively more satisfied with police and forensic investigation than the judicial outcome. However, there have been areas of concerns relating to communication and impartiality," the report added.

As one out of three homicidal and suicidal deaths is a result of disharmony in relationships, the UNFPA states that redress mechanisms, counseling and befriending services/ support, protection and legal aid and how to reach such services should be available at times of need. They also stresses that Sri lanka must enhance financial independence and strengthen capacity of women to make decisions for themselves and their families.

UNFPA also recommended the facilitation of gender sensitive counseling, promote befriending services and welfare officers (e.g. child protection officers), facilitate gender sensitive law-enforcement system in dealing with violence against women, enhance psycho-social support in bereavement.

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