Cross-border domestic violence: the global pandemic and the call for uniform enforcement of civil protection orders

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Author: Angelica Feldman
Date: Winter 2017
From: Suffolk Transnational Law Review(Vol. 40, Issue 1)
Publisher: Suffolk University Law School
Document Type: Article
Length: 18,226 words

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Domestic violence is a "global pandemic" that can be found in every country and sometimes between countries with the increased fluidity of migrants. (1) Domestic violence is the most prevalent "form of violence perpetrated against women" and poses major health risks for women internationally. (2) With international migration comes complex family law issues such as cross-border domestic violence, yet there are no "bilateral or multilateral treaties regarding the issuance, recognition, or enforcement of foreign civil protection orders." (3) Recent attention to the issue of "establishing appropriate civil protection order regimes" to protect victims of domestic violence has led the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) to add it to their agenda. (4) Currently there are a number of proposed and existing models of cross-border recognition and enforcement of civil protection orders, but no universal treaties. (5)

This Note will assess the differences between the current and proposed national and regional models for cross-border recognition and enforcement of civil protection orders, along with the possible issues that arise in the formation of a universal treaty, and form a suggestion on the best possible treaty to approach the issue of cross-border domestic violence. (6) Part II will discuss the history of domestic violence, the international response to domestic violence, and the HCCH's initial studies on cross-border domestic violence cases. (7) Part III will detail proposed and existing national and regional models of cross-border recognition and enforcement of civil protection orders. (8) Part IV will analyze issues that may arise in the drafting of a uniform cross-border domestic violence treaty, and compare the differences between the proposed and existing national and regional models. (9) Part V will conclude that specific compromises between existing legislation and proposed legislation will create the best cross-border domestic violence treaty. (10)


A. A General Explanation of Domestic Violence

Intimate partner violence, better known as domestic violence, "emerged as a recognizable issue in our society in the mid-1970s." (11) "The term 'domestic violence' was adopted by women's advocates to emphasize the risk to women within their own family and household, and over time the term became synonymous with battering." (12) In the early 2000s social scientists identified the existence of different types of intimate partner violence. (13) The term domestic violence, however, typically refers to Coercive Control Violence (CCV), which incorporates the cycle of violence and control. (14) For the purpose of this Note, the term domestic violence will refer specifically to CCV because CCV is the most well-known and dangerous form of domestic violence. (15)


The recognition of gender-based violence as a human rights violation is a fairly recent global development. (16) Violence against women was considered a private matter and States believed they had no authority over the individuals who perpetrated acts of intimate partner violence. (17) As the notion of state sovereignty started to wane, a movement developed that began to hold states accountable for the way they were failing to protect their citizens. (18)...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Feldman, Angelica. "Cross-border domestic violence: the global pandemic and the call for uniform enforcement of civil protection orders." Suffolk Transnational Law Review, vol. 40, no. 1, winter 2017, pp. 35+. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A497670689