Eswatini

Population size: 

1,148,130 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime: Official National Statistics Not Available

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women: Official National Statistics Not Available [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

Eswatini has made a number of notable commitments to address and reduce domestic violence for the first time.

A 2018 national study found that 48% of girls and women between 13-24 reported having experienced some form of domestic and sexual violence. In 2018 under the Sexual and Domestic Violence Act marital rape and other domestic violence offences were criminalised. Provisions were made for Specialised Domestic Violence Courts, created mechanisms and avenues for reporting offences and made medical examination and treatment of victims a requirement. None of this was previously provided for. The government has also implemented an ongoing National Strategy to End Violence (2017-22) produced in collaboration with the UN Population Fund focusing especially on the most prevalent violence rates towards women and girls.

However, public attitude towards the act is one of non-comprehensive or ignorance. Societal emphasis on gender norms remain unchallenged and perpetuate domestic violence. The government has not established any shelters for victims of domestic violence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the number of recorded domestic abuse cases has doubled (40 cases between 30 March and 24 April 2020) with the government appearing to take no steps to address this rise. Reporting of domestic violence remains low. 


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Swaziland”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org).


Further Reading


[1] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/eswatini-formerly-swaziland

[2] https://www.icj.org/eswatini-new-law-on-sexual-and-domestic-violence-a-vital-achievement-and-opportunity-for-change/

[3] http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/2020/04/demystifying-to-achieve-gender-equality/

[4] https://www.genderindex.org/wp-content/uploads/files/datasheets/2019/SZ.pdf