The Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, aimed at bringing in laws to arrest the growing trend of domestic violence in the country, through mediation, was taken up for debate in Parliament yesterday.
Presenting the Bill, Justice and Judicial Reforms Minister John Seneviratne said that the bill was drafted because taking all incidents related to domestic violence, to court, was impractical and hence, a mediation process in the interim, was needed in this regard.
?We held discussions regarding the matter, with the Women`s Affairs ministry. There should be a procedure to direct victims for counselling by social workers:? he said.
He also said that the suggestion, made by UNP MP Prof, G.L. Peiris, not to reveal those involved in the problem, was also considered by him, in drafting the legislation.
Joining the debate, Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that the Bill was very appropriate, especially because the violence unleashed mainly on women and children, were gaining ground in the country, according to researches and media reports.
?The Bill is a neutral one. It does not focus only on women and children. Violence against males is also covered by the Bill? he said.
Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that 60% of violent incidents were within the home and the victims were from all strata of society.
He also suggested that a panel of lawyers should be established to provide legal assistance to the victimized women and children, who are morally defeated to go to court, in relation to their matters.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake queried whether it was reasonable to take to court, matters pertaining to a family unit. ?The role models of European laws and regulations are not applicable in our country,? he added.