Premarital Education Can Help Curb Domestic Violence

Nationwide programs through information, education and communication (IEC) strategies are crucial for the benefit of married couples.Nationwide programs through information, education and communication (IEC) strategies are crucial for the benefit of married couples.

Global studies reveal that premarital education can decrease domestic violence by a large margin, says the deputy head of State Welfare Organization Habibollah Masoudi-Farid.

“A growing body of research both in and outside Iran indicates that premarital educational courses are 60%-80% successful in reducing domestic violence,” he told IRNA on Sunday.

He stressed the importance of nationwide programs through information, education and communication (IEC) strategies that use an approach aimed at changing or reinforcing behaviors, for the benefit of families and married couples, so as to eliminate domestic violence that is a serious threat to the very institution of family and marriage.

Pointing to the hotline 123 for social emergencies including domestic violence, he underlined the need to “sensitize people towards such issues so that it becomes a wider social campaign.”

“Students should not only study math, physics, and chemistry in schools, but also learn how to coexist and manage life,” Masoudi-Farid noted. “Parents should also be educated on how to raise children.”

If the national media broadcasts news on violence and its aftermath, they should also suggest remedial action and preventive measures, he said. 

Noting that there are no precise figures on cases of domestic violence in the country, the official said, “Studies have been conducted on the issue, but the data is confidential.” He did not say why such crucial information is kept in wraps.

   Bill to Protect Women 

The bill on protecting women against violence drafted by the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs was sent to parliament last week after being in the making for months.

The bill comprising 81 articles and 5 notes was on the agenda of the previous Majlis in 2011, but was censured by the relevant parliamentary commission, and withdrawn.

The current framework encompasses two civil and criminal sections. The criminal section has been reviewed and approved by the judiciary, and the civil section by the vice presidency, and experts in pertinent fields have cooperated in preparing the bill.

The new draft includes a 10-article addendum to the previous bill and focuses on protection of women and the prevention of violence against them, including human trafficking, efficacious protection and services for victims of abuse, rehabilitation and better processes in interrogation of female offenders.

One in three women in the world is a victim of physical violence, and 35% of all women have experienced it at least once in their lifetime.

 “We are very hopeful that this bill will be passed,” said Ashraf Geramizadegan, director general of the office for legal affairs at the vice presidency.

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