Morocco adopts new law to combat domestic violence against women

Morocco has adopted Law no. 103-13 on combating violence against women. The new law criminalizes some forms of domestic violence, establishes prevention measures such as restraint orders, and provides new protections for survivors. It increases penalties for some forms of violence when committed within the family and establishes new crimes including forced marriage, squandering property to avoid payment of maintenance, preventing a spouse from returning home, and sexual harassment in public spaces and cyber harassment. Women’s groups in the country had lobbied for greater emphasis on protection and victim relief instead of criminal prosecution, explicit recognition of marital rape, funding women’s shelters, and laying down the duties of police, prosecutors, and investigative judges in domestic violence cases. However, the law was passed without these changes.