Saudi Arabia investigates 2,726 domestic violence cases, including 2,035 against women, 691 against men

Abu Dhabi: Saudi authorities are investigating 2,726 cases of domestic violence, including 2,035 against women and 691 against men, a recent report about referrals to the Social Service Department at the Ministry of Health revealed.

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The report showed the number of referrals to public hospitals due to self-harm attempts was 846 cases, of which 490 were women and 356 men.

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Saudi Arabia cracks down on abuse against women with prison term, up to $13,332 fine

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Under Saudi laws, penalties for abuse against women include imprisonment and hefty fines for any physical, psychological, or sexual assaults against women in the Kingdom.

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The Saudi Public Prosecution has mandated a minimum jail sentence of no less than one month, and up to one year, for the act of attacking a woman.

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In addition, there will also be a minimum fine of 5,000 Saudi riyals – $1,333 US dollars – and a maximum fine of 50,000 Saudi riyals, or $13,332 US dollars.

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Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.

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Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

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Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

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The Saudi Health Ministry’s report revealed an increase in the number of patients referred to the Social Service Department for psychological and social reasons related to diseases, with a total of 208,709 patients, including 106,858 men and 101,851 women.

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Long-stay patients

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Long-stay patients followed with 30,695, including 19,803 men, and 10,892 women.

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Cases of leaving hospitals against medical advice followed with 16,407 patients, including 8,818 males and 7,589 females.

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People with special needs

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Some 6,506 patients with special needs were referred to the Social Service Department, including 3,619 men, and 2,887 women.

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Saudi Arabia has made significant legal reforms for women over the past few years, including granting women the right to drive and the ability to apply for passports and travel freely without the permission of a male guardian.

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Amendments have been adopted in Saudi Arabia to protect women from discrimination in employment, to prohibit employers from dismissing a woman during pregnancy and maternity leave, and to prohibit gender-based discrimination in accessing financial services.

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