In a cabinet meeting last week, officials in Saudi Arabia finally passed the "Protection from Abuse" law, aimed at protecting people from "all forms of abuse" and making domestic abuse against the law.
The King Khalid Foundation recently launched a striking nationwide campaign to end domestic abuse, and the passing of the law marks a very significant and long awaited change in the country.
The 17 article bill states that those guilty of committing physical or psychological abuse could face up to one year in prison, and up to approximately £8,600 in fines. Perhaps one of the most important elements of the law is that it allows those reporting abuse the right to remain anonymous and immunity from litigation if the abuse fails to be proven in court.
While the United Nations urged Saudi Arabia to implement laws that protected women back in 2008, the law is a major victory for human rights activists. Activist Waleed Abu al-Khair has praised the new law and said that it gives women independence as, until now, "Women were required to bring in a male relative if they showed up at a police station to file a complaint. "
Image via King Khalid Foundation's "No More Abuse" campaign