Nauru

Population size: 

12,581 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 22%

Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: 15% [2]

Physical and/or sexual violence by partners:

  • Nearly half of ever-partnered women (48.1%) who participated in the survey experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner at least once in their lifetime and 22.1% experienced such violence in the 12 months preceding the interview.

  • Nearly half of ever-partnered women (46.6%) who participated in the survey experienced physical partner violence at least once in their lifetime and 20.6% indicated experiencing such violence in the 12 months preceding the interview.

  • The most commonly mentioned act of physical partner violence was being slapped or having something thrown at them (84.1%).

  • Among ever-pregnant women who reported experiences of physical and/or sexual partner violence, 25.4% experienced physical violence in at least one pregnancy.

  • One-fifth of ever-partnered women (20.6%) experienced sexual violence by a partner at least once in their lifetime and 9.9% said to experience such violence in the 12 months prior to the interview.

  • The most commonly reported act of sexual partner violence was being coerced to have sex when she did not want to because she was afraid of what her partner might do if she refused (30.2%) [3]


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

Safe houses were established and a training programme for perpetrators of domestic violence (SHED programme). The Nauru Gender Country Plan seeks to reduce domestic violence; increase access to justice and improve legislation for reducing domestic violence. No specific domestic violence law but the proposal for separate domestic violence legislation has been made in the review of the Nauruan Criminal Code. S.34 Criminal Procedure Act 1972 provides for a restraining order through an apprehended violence order. The Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act 2017 marks of the government beginning to establish a legislative framework for women and children.

A safe house was established in 2008 for survivors of domestic violence. Generally for short term stays only. Approximately one woman a month seeks refuge or counselling. In 2013 a men’s worker was employed by the Women’s Affairs Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs to run “self help ending domestics programme” (SHED) which facilitated a training programme for perpetrators of violence under the Nauru National Women’s Plan of Action. Counselling was provided to men and boys in regards to the elimination of violence against women. It is predicted that this will have a strong effect on reducing domestic and family violence. [4]


The Nauru Gender Country Plan seeks to reduce domestic violence; increase access to justice and improved legislation for reducing domestic violence. 

However, there is no specific domestic violence law but there is a proposal in the review of the Nauruan Criminal Code for separate domestic violence legislation. Not specifically provided for in the Criminal Code 1899 – it is dealt with as an ordinary act of assault. A restraining order is available through an apprehended violence order under s.34 Criminal Procedure Act 1972. Reform of criminal procedure legislation is ongoing and will include comprehensive provision for orders and mandatory prosecution for domestic violence offences. 

A Domestic Violence Committee was established in 2009. The Nauru Police Department established a Domestic Violence Unit in 2007 to deal with all cases involving violence against women and children. A Domestic Violence Bill is being drafted by the human rights section of the Department of Justice.[5]

Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act 2017 [6] and Child Protection and Welfare Act 2016 saw the government establish a protective legislative framework for women and children. Minister Scotty described this as a milestone in ensuring that our laws not only protect and safeguard us but also educate and train us as a nation to become better parents, partners and better individuals. The Act provides for the protection of victims of domestic violence, the rehabilitation of persons in domestic relationships against domestic violence and related matters. The objects of the Act are to provide safety, prevent and reduce incidents of domestic violence. 


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

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

[3] https://asiapacific.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Nauru_family_health_support_survey_report_2014.pdf

[4] http://docstore.ohchr.org/SelfServices/FilesHandler.ashx?enc=6QkG1d%2FPPRiCAqhKb7yhsqMFgv33OTgoZv7ZAgL6thBs%2BJaDouDrmbrhkSKQnAJmPZ9UvJeFASCaHOYMWlSYYCuENbqZ7%2B4S5kzfEKujpCmbACo3%2BCb5LwxaXyHF2qjW

[5] https://pacificwomen.org/stories-of-change/domestic-violence-family-protection-laws-protect-nauruan-women-children/

[6] http://ronlaw.gov.nr/nauru_lpms/files/acts/3f6b883ca6cfbf1c2e83767f876266e8.pdf