The report followed 110 women from around the country through the Afghan judicial system and mediation process. The U.N. review aimed to gauge the effectiveness of 2009’s Elimination of Violence Against Women Act, a law that for the first time provided legal protections for women facing abuse at the hands of a family member.
Though criminal prosecution is now available, most women seek mediation, the U.N. report said. Instead of seeking punishment for their abusers, the women instead hoped to secure a violence-free environment or custody of their children.
“Women’s economic dependency on male family members often constituted a deterrent to seeking criminal sanctions as the imprisonment of the perpetrator, when a family member, would automatically cut off women’s financial support,” the report said.
Non-governmental organizations provide shelters for abused women, but there are few longterm solutions for independent, safe living arrangements, the report continued.