Key Words: Domestic violence, women, State responsibility, Human rights, Norway
Domestic violence against women is a human rights violation that affects women all over the world regardless of their color, nationality, or age. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and related international and regional legal and policy instruments have clarified the obligations on States to prevent, eradicate and punish violence against women. Under these instruments States have concrete and clear obligations to address violence against women, whether committed by state agents or by non-state actors. However, States around the world are failing to meet the requirements of the international legal and policy framework. In Norway, the issue of domestic violence against women is a prevalent problem too, and to combat such crime is the forefront of the government concern. The Soria Moria Declaration of 2005 maintains that government will improve efforts to fight against domestic violence. This thesis is based on domestic violence against women from the human rights perspective. It examines the legal nature of violence against women and its implication for the State responsibility, and the circumstances in which the State can be held responsible for the breach of due diligence norms. However, Norway is not the main centre of the analysis for the thesis but it is just used as an example in order to concretize the problems associated with the implementation of the States obligation embedded in the CEDAW and other human rights instruments. Despite the adoption of the international standard norms regarding violence against women by the Norwegian government, violence against women remains a complicated and debilitating issue in the country. Finally, legal arrangements are not enough; it is necessary to focus on other preventative measures aiming to combat traditional ideologies used to justify gender-based violence. Specified professional groups, such as the police and the judiciary, should be given appropriate trainings in order to learn how to address domestic violence cases in a gender-sensitive manner. The Norwegian government should review the Crisis Centre Act (2010) and provide enough financial support for current programs/centers/shelters focused on the prevention and protection of women to ensure accessibility and effectiveness. By fulfilling its obligation regarding a protection of violence against women, Norway can both improve the lives of Norwegian women and provide an example for the rest of the world.