Number of women taking shelter after abuse on rise

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Some 4,489 women suffering from domestic violence have sought shelter in state intutions in the first nine months of this year, up from 4,195 in whole 2011. Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Şahin says a proper database will be created to track domestic violence in the country, while CHP’s Umut Oran criticizes the ministry for ‘being slow’ in the fight against violence

 The number of women applying to women’s shelters to escape domestic violence has increased considerably in 2012, Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Şahin has said.

Some 4,489 women suffering from domestic violence applied to the women’s shelter in the first nine months of 2012 alone, along with 1,930 children, Şahin said recently, in response to a parliamentary question from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Umut Oran. The number of women who applied to women’s shelters in 2011 was 4,195, while 1,578 children did so.

Proper documentation of domestic violence against women and of women’s deaths due to domestic violence has yet to be completed, Şahin also said. However, a study by the Family and Social Affairs Ministry for building a database on violence against women will be finalized by the end of this year.
The study will create a substructure for a “database on violence against women” and collect all documentation in a single system, according to Şahin.

Proper documentation of domestic violence against women began only a year ago with the establishment of the Family and Social Affairs Ministry, ministry officials had previously said.

No excuses

The CHP’s Oran, however, criticized the government for being slow in fighting domestic violence, saying that the establishment date of the Family and Social Affairs Ministry was no excuse for not creating proper documentation on the issue.

“The minister says that the ministry was established in 2011. But this government has been on duty for 10 years. The State Ministry responsible for Women and Family Affairs, the predecessor of the Family and Social Affairs Ministry, was previously in charge of this issue. Making up an excuse based on the establishment date of the ministry is an intolerable attitude,” Oran said.

The Family and Social Affairs Ministry has taken legal action in 30 cases related to violence against women in 2012, Şahin also said. The ministry’s demand to have intervening party status was found appropriate in 14 of those 30 cases.

However, Oran also played down the ministry’s legal actions, saying it was not enough to take action in only 30 cases with tens of murders of women being reported by the media every week.

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