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Domestic violence is not discriminatory and occurs between people of all social classes, amongst all racial and religious groupings and in all age groups. Crime and other statistics can only provide us with a taster of the real picture. The nature and extent of the suffering which is endured by families behind closed doors is very much something that is kept private. Victims of domestic assaults often do not complain of violence, either through fear of being further assaulted, or because they are too embarrassed and ashamed to reveal their plight to professionals who might be able to assist them. Although the traditional perspective is that victims of domestic violence are predominately women, this is not always the case, men, children and the elderly are vulnerable to domestic violence too. This said there is an abundance of evidence to show that it is women and children who are the main victims. Children who themselves suffer violence at the hands of a parent are in the main protected by the state though child protection procedures. The remedies provided by the civil law are therefore generally used to obtain protection for an adult victim.As Subedi points out There are several causes of violence against women. These range from historical unequal power relations between men and women to cultural perceptions, women’s sexuality, inaction on the part of the agents of the State to the traditional perception in law and practice that matters within the family and between a husband and wife are basically private matters in which outside or State involvement should be kept to a minimum. Unlike other forms of crime, the problem with domestic violence has been that even the law itself is not well- developed and the law that is there on this issue has not been enforced as vigorously as possible. It is from this premise that efforts have been made in the recent past both at national and international level to strengthen the law on traditional patterns of violence and to expand the scope of the law to cover new forms of violence. While the problem often encountered in this process at national level is the doctrine of privacy and the concept of the sanctity of the family, the dichotomy of the public/private sphere is the problem at international level.


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