Population size:

4,207,083 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

IPV against women in Kuwait City is reported by 71% for women who are physically abused, 81% for women who are sexually abused, 89% for women who are psychologically abused, 75% for women based on cultural and religious factors, and 65% for women battering (2).

No research on male victims or other gender identities.[2]

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.

Current law and policy:

Kuwait has no laws prohibiting domestic violence or marital rape. And laws that do exist to protect against some forms of violence are limited or poorly enforced. 

There are also no current strategies being presented by the Kuwaiti government in response to issues of gender-based violence. 

In Kuwait, there are no laws prohibiting domestic violence or marital rape. While rape carries a maximum penalty of death; spousal rape is not a crime. Worse still, laws against rape are not effectively enforced. 

Article 153 of the Penal Code states that a man who finds his mother, wife, sister, or daughter in the act of adultery and kills them is punished by either a small fine or no more than three years in prison. Shari’a law governs family law for Muslim residents within Kuwait, as such the freedoms of women are heavily curtailed, especially once they are married.

To date, the government has not published statistics on violence against women, and many victims do not report domestic abuse, due to the lack of legal support. In 2015, a law was introduced that stated the family courts should set up centres to handle domestic violence cases, but this law also stated that the priority of such centres was reconciliation, not protection of victims and survivors. 

Frontline Services:



[1] The World Bank, (1)

[2] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260520916280

Further Reading

[1] https://www.unicef.org/gender/files/Kuwait-Gender-Eqaulity-Profile-2011.pdf

[2] https://www.refworld.org/country,COI,,,KWT,,58ec8a1413,0.html

[3] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/kuwait#1de7c4