Vietnamese govt measures against domestic violence fall flat

The enforcement of the law on domestic violence prevention and control in Vietnam had met with difficulties due to migration and lack of information, said the deputy director of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's family department.

Hoa Huu Van said during a conference on Monday that the law was put into effect in 2008 and various agencies and organisations have conducted activities to raise awareness, as well as provide consultancy and mediation services.

However, he said, the country did not have enough professional consultants to help members of the public fully understand the campaign.

The law that was put in place also did not detail punishment for those who breach it, and this has led to much confusion among the authorities.

Van said that more should be done to create better awareness on domestic violence, including using the arts. Currently, advice and consultancy services were provided based on personal experience - but expert consultants were needed.

He added that some of those who were being counselled moved homes, disrupting the process.

He said that more efforts should be put in place to streamline what all the agencies and organisations involved in the campaign were doing.

Greater awareness on alcoholism should be made a part of the campaign, as statistics show that over 80 per cent of divorces involved alchoholic husbands who beat their wives.

Institute of Family and Gender director, Associate Professor Nguyen Huu Minh, said that more men should be encouraged to get on board as counsellors.

Conclusive data on gender violence should be collected prior to forming policies and programmes in the future, Minh said at the conference, which was organised to improve the country's efforts to end domestic violence.