A draft law drawn up with the intention of protecting women and children against violence has been languishing, unattended since 2011.
Since which time, four women have been murdered in the TRNC either by a husband or boyfriend. Sadly, the government has not given any time to pass this law.
Although TRNC law prohibits domestic violence under a general assault/violence/battery clause in the criminal code, separate domestic violence legislation has yet to be be passed.
If made law, a Support Line would be set up for victims of violence as well as police protection being made mandatory for victims awaiting court hearings.
International publication, Freedom House in its survey of legal rights for women in North Cyprus stated that:
“A 2007 survey found that three-quarters of women were victims of violence at least once in their lives, with most attacks occurring at home. There are no laws specifically concerning domestic violence or sexual harassment, and incidents typically go unreported”.
In January 2009, the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation noted that women do not have the same rights as men, nor do they live in similar conditions as men, especially when married. Women are prevented from enjoying their rights by the patriarchal society. A US Department of State report in 2010 indicated that although authorities handled and prosecuted rape cases effectively, violence against women was an issue and that there were no support organisations for victims of rape.
Since 2011, eleven children orphaned by murder in the TRNC, will grow up without their mothers.