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Population size: 

18 million [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Ever-partnered women aged 15-64 reported Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime at 25%.

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women reported at 8% [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:

Palau signed (in 2011) but did not ratify the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The country has taken steps to address domestic violence and passed the Family Protection Act in 2012. The Act criminalises domestic violence, institutes a no-drop policy for domestic violence (once a victim calls it will follow due process) and stipulates that customary restitution for domestic violence cases does not go away with criminal charges for domestic violence. [3]

The Act (2012) provides a broad definition of domestic violence, makes protection orders accessible and highlights the need for the establishment and coordination between services for survivors of violence. More specifically, the Act expands on and strengthens the ability of police officers to assist family violence victims and outlines legal penalties. There are several important areas that are not addressed in the FPA: the definition of rape is limited to sexual intercourse and spousal rape is still exempt from prosecution. [4]

As of 2016, although numerous protection measures were outlined in the Family Protection Act no protection measures were in place, specifically shelters and other services to support victims and especially those for women and children survivors. As such the UN Country Team encouraged the Government to establish protection services for survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. [5]



[1] Worldometer, “Palau Population (Live)”, (

[2] Carlued Leon and Umerang A, 2014. Belau Family Health and Safety Study National Research Project on Violence against Women in Palau

[4], [5] Joint Submission of the UN Country Team for Palau for the UN



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