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Posted On: 24 June 2020 08:00 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:18 am

Domestic violence in Qatar: What is being done to prevent it

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Domestic violence, or domestic abuse, which may also be termed as intimate partner violence, dating violence, spousal abuse, and intimate partner abuse) doesn't have to be just physical; it can be psychological as well. It's not just above shoving, hitting or other physical attacks, it can also include behaviours that are meant to scare, intimidate, isolate, physically harm, humiliate, or control a partner. And though every relationship is different, domestic violence usually involves an unequal power dynamic when one partner continuously tries asserting control over the other in ways like the ones mentioned above.

Both men and women can be domestic violence victims, but it has been stated by Psychology Today that though:

"women are just as violent as men, most domestic violence directed at men is in the form of slaps and other low-level violence. Men are significantly more likely to resort to extreme violence, to use weapons, and to kill their partners. So while domestic violence against men does happen and is a serious problem, women remain the primary victims."

What is Qatar doing to tackle domestic violence

The Qatari society supports a strong, caring and safe family base, and, in turn, the Government of Qatar aims to reduce domestic violence by putting into place a comprehensive protection system; one that ensures the appropriate support and privacy measures are available for both victims and anyone who comes forth to report an incident of domestic violence.

At present, the reporting of domestic abuse is considered culturally unacceptable and it's believed, it would bring moral damage to the family. To get over this stigma, the community, in general, will have to increase its awareness of domestic abuse and the government will have to provide an environment in which it is safe to report domestic violence, according to Hukoomi.

For this, the government seeks to:

  • Open help centres
  • Increase efficiency in domestic violence reporting
  • Effectively criminalise domestic abuse

To achieve the above, the following is being done in Qatar, according to the Ministry of Planning and Statistics:

Creating awareness for women's rights

In recent times, civil society organisations that deal with women’s issues are making contributions towards the awareness of women's rights in Qatar and have helped reduce violence against women and girls. Such organisations include the Family Consulting Centre (Wifaq) and Qatar Foundation for Social Protection and Rehabilitation (AMAN).

Increasing the number of protection centres and shelters for women

Other mechanisms for reducing violence against women include expanding the number of protection centres and shelters as well as establishing branch offices. Branch offices for the Qatar Foundation for Social Protection and Rehabilitation (AMAN) have been established in the Capital Security Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the Hamad Medical Corporation. In addition, an office for social rehabilitation has been set up in the MOI and a family consulting office is present in the courts.

Dispatching community police officers to settle domestic violence in homes

Another effort being made by Qatar is that to minimise non-reporting of domestic violence due to the fear of shame, the MOI dispatches community police officers to attend to domestic cases in an effort to settle problems inside homes and without overt exposure to the community.

Promoting awareness about domestic violence

In November 2013, the Council of Ministers approved a standing committee for anti-domestic violence tasked to promote awareness of domestic violence and its effects. A "Stop the Silence" campaign has also been launched to raise awareness about domestic violence and to provide training to health workers to detect cases of abuse and violence.

Starting hotlines s to improve the incident-reporting culture of domestic violence

The Family Consulting Centre (Wifaq) and the Qatar Foundation for Protection and Social Rehabilitation (AMAN) have set up special hotlines, so women suffering from domestic violence can call them confidentially and they can try to help them.

Combined with programmes that aim to promote empowerment among Qatari and expat women women, it is hoped that in time these actions will result in better outcome for women and children in Qatar.

Signs of domestic violence

There may be physical marks that come from bruises, cuts and, even, broken bones. If someone is more prone to accidents all of a sudden, this could be a trigger warning that the person is being abused. Individuals who suffer from domestic violence often feel depressed, suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, experience low self esteem and a feeling of helplessness though it may take them a while to understand the situation they're in.

Often professional help is the only way to overcome these feelings. A medical expert that works with victims of domestic violence may be able to help an individual extract her or himself from the situation, as well as offer psychological support.

The following are some of the signs of domestic abuse to look out for:

    Where to turn to if suffering from domestic abuse

    For those that need it, help is available in Qatar through the following organisations that provide a number of services that include psychological, social, financial, and medical, child care and shelter assistance:

    Family Consulting Centre (Wifaq)

    Wifaq was established by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser on 13 November 2002. The Centre is supervised by the Qatar Foundation for Social Work. It is oriented to all families and individuals in the society of different cultural backgrounds, religions, languages and age groups, whether they are citizens or residents of Qatar.

    It's social mission is led by a qualified group of experienced and qualified consultants and counselors.​​​​​ who provide free counseling on family issues over the telephone. The service is confidential and may be useful for those who cannot come in for private sessions.

    Consultants from the center are equipped with the in-depth training and experience to cover a broad range of issues, including psychological, social, educational, Sharia-related and legal issues, behavioural and domestic problems.

    To speak with a consultant, contact the call center on 16003 and ask to be redirected. To book an appointment with a counselor or consultant, please call +974 44327777 or +974 44892888. You may be required to bring a copy of your ID.

    Online consultations are also available through Wifaq e-mail and social media. All you have to do is fill in the form at: and submit. An expert will get back to you.

    Qatar Foundation for Protection and Social Rehabilitation (AMAN)

    AMAN or Dar Al Aman provides shelter services to victims of domestic abuse through the Dar Al Aman. AMAN assists targeted groups in crisis through the provision of:

    • Safe accommodation
    • Meals
    • Health care
    • Psychological and social rehabilitation
    • Legal counseling
    • Other services

    In addition to being a shelter for the cases that have been subjected to domestic abuse, AMAN provides a hotline reporting service (+974 44666673 / 44666672 / 44666671 or 108) that is available around the clock, and receives many types of consultation requests on abuse and violence. It also offers a phone application called Shawreni (‘consult me’), which provides free social, psychological, and legal counseling, and aims to raise awareness about women’s rights.

    AMAN has a dedicated office in the Public Prosecution building to receive cases of domestic abuse, ensures measures are swiftly taken, and provides advice, assistance, and rehabilitation before transferring cases to the courts.

    All cases are dealt with the utmost privacy and confidentiality.

    Let's all play our part and help to stop domestic violence of all kinds!