Malawians may soon find the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) more user-friendly, thanks to technical review findings and recommendations set to transform it into a civil law to bind families rather than to break them up.
The significant fine-tuning results were announced by chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the Technical Review of the PDVA, High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga, when she shared the findings and recommendations at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe on Friday.
The findings and recommendations will soon be presented to Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu who, in turn, will present them to Cabinet for discussions and possible amendment law.
The announcement capped a five-year assignment during which the Special Law Commission was tasked to remove perceived technical defects which saw people afraid to apply the law, which Parliament enacted in 2006.
The law was unpopular, and in some cases seemed to be counter-productive, because of the criminal aspect that is attached to sanctions of the domestic violence.
She said: “We feel that we have tried our best to ensure that the law which was there and was having some challenges in implementation has been simplified so that each and every person can use it to reduce on issues of domestic violence in our society.”
People have been afraid and reluctant to use the law in its current form because a wife or a husband who reports the spouse over domestic violence appeared to virtually condemn the accused to imprisonment ultimately.
Kamanga read out portions where some old definitions and presentations of the issues were defended by her commission. n