Sexual Abuse within the Family in the Occupied State of Palestine

Author(s): Amira Khader
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender Based Violence
Number of pages:


Sexual and gender-based violence within the family renders women and girls particularly vulnerable, especially in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) where the family is the primary social and economic unit. This paper addresses the problematic issue of sexual abuse, taking place within the family and the gaps in legal and communal responses to it. Palestinian legislation pertaining to sexual abuse is grounded in the penal codes of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which interacts with the personal status law (Sharia law). The absence of legislation meeting international human rights standards for preventing violence and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes continues to cultivate and reinforce a culture of impunity for sexual and gender-based violence. This paper stresses the instrumental role of legislation in providing protection against sexual and gender-based violence in families in the oPt based on data obtained from interviews with the Women Studies Center in the oPt, Palestinian female lawyers, and one victims of sexual harassment.