The Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) that was ratified in April 2012 criminalise domestic violence and it mandates several institutions, professional service providers and other relevant stakeholders to implement the law to address domestic violence, as it manifests in the Maldives. The law is focussed on prevention, protection and rehabilitation of both victims of violence and perpetrators.
Subsequent developments such as the establishment of the Family Protection Authority (FPA) under the DVPA 2012 to oversee the implementation of the law has resulted in progress in this area. The DVPA 2012 clarifies and mandates various State institutions to act on domestic violence issues using an integrated approach and the requisite regulations to implement the law has been produced by stakeholders including the FPA and the Maldives Police Service (MPS).
This act defines domestic violence as an attack against someone by any other person with whom that they are presently, or have been in a domestic relationship. It also provides protection for victims of domestic violence and seeks to punish the perpetrators of such crimes.
The purpose of this Act is to achieve the following objectives:
a) to determine that every act of domestic violence, under any circumstance, in any form or manner, among persons is strictly unlawful
b) to provide adequate protection to victims of domestic violence, under the circumstance where such an act has occurred
c) to serve justice in a cost-effective, timely, and convenient manner to victims of domestic violence
d) to implement adequate programmes for victims of domestic violence and to ensure the recovery of such victims in order to resume their health and a normal life
e) to take all necessary measures to stop persons from committing acts of domestic violence and to support them in their rehabilitation
f) to facilitate enforcement of court orders and legitimate orders from other state institutions issued in order to stop acts of domestic violence
g) to create awareness of the characterizing features of domestic violence among the relevant entities of the State and to increase the required competency of such entities
h) recognizing that health professionals and social workers are typically the first to come into contact with victims of domestic violence, to establish a duty of care on health professionals and social workers to provide appropriate support to suspect victims of domestic violence and to report the same to the Police or the Authority
i) to introduce and lay down civil liabilities on person who commit acts of domestic violence by way of a separate piece of legislation in addition to the criminal liabilities imposed on such persons under criminal law and this Act
j) to comply with international standards for the prevention of domestic violence and to apply and enforce relevant principles of justice in accordance with such standards.