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Women’s Access to Justice for Gender-Based Violence: A Practitioners’ Guide

By: Lisa Gormley, International Commission of Jurists

The persistence and prevalence of violence against women has been described by UN Women as “a pandemic” and by the World Health Organization as a “public health problem of epidemic proportions”, affecting from 35 to 70 per cent of women and girls globally according to national studies.

The present Guide is directed to legal practitioners, who are indispensable to addressing the problem, but with a cautionary note that laws alone are insufficient to address the deep-rooted problem of violence against women. This Practitioners Guide can be used to support a number of initiatives to promote the rule of law: advising legal practitioners and other human rights defenders (referred to in this Guide as “advocates”) about relevant international human rights law and standards, advising practitioners about existing good practice in seeking protection for women who have been subjected to gender-based violence, and advising practitioners and other human rights defenders, as well as legislators and policy makers, about implementing international human rights law in domestic law reform.