ADDIS ABABA – Federal Courts have started entertaining charges of domestic violence as an urgent case following a United Nation’s alert about a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent times.
The supreme court of Ethiopia has closed federal courts partially as part of an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
During this period, they are allowed to handle urgent cases including those that affect life, liberty and public safety.
On Wednesday, a decision was made for courts to start looking into domestic violence charges as well, according to Meaza Ashenafi, president of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia.
“Considering the possibility of an increase in domestic violence during the #StayAtHome period, a decision is made for federal courts to entertain charges of domestic violence as an urgent type of case,” said Meaza.
The move came 48 hours after the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says there has been “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent weeks as
Guterres said that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes.”
“And, so, I make a new appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world,” he said.
The secretary-general said in some countries, which he did not name, “the number of women calling support services has doubled.”
“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” Guterres said.