On 8 March 2012, the Turkish National Assembly adopted a comprehensive law to address the issue of violence against women.
The aim of this law is to protect the women, the children, the family members and the victims of stalking, who have been subject to the violence or at the risk of violence, and to regulate procedures and principles with regard to the measures of preventing the violence against those people. This law also establishes provisions on protective and preventive measures, financial provisions, and it regulates the establishment and coordination of the Support Services, Centers and the Inter-Agency Coordination.
Some key features of the new law are:
- it covers all women, regardless of their marital status;
- those who violate a protection order will immediately be subject to three days' imprisonment (under Law 4320, the Law for Protection of the Family, a prison sentence was imposed for violation of a protection order, but imprisonment of the offender was a lengthy process);
- police officers are newly authorized to issue a protection order as soon as the victim needs protection (thus, law enforcement authorities are able to take protective measures in the absence of resort to a family court or to the prosecutorial authorities);
- there are various means of protecting victims, e.g., by issuing a restraining order to prevent the perpetrator of violence from going home, by requiring the perpetrator to hand over to law enforcement authorities any weapon or similar device in his possession (or to the employing institution if he is in a profession that requires him to carry weapons), by requiring the perpetrator not to be in the close vicinity of the workplace of the abused; and, upon her request, by relocating the victim; and
- offenders face a prison term of up to six months for breaching restraining orders.
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