Since many victims of domestic violence continue to be harmed even after being granted protection orders by a court, the judiciary needs to speed up the issuance of these orders to make repeat abuse less likely, the Modern Women’s Foundation said yesterday.
The group cited Judicial Yuan figures showing that, on average, it takes courts 19.38 working days to process a provisional protection order and a further 45.79 days to issue an official document.
“It requires a lot of courage for people who have been abused to apply for a protection order and they are often victimized for years before they apply for one,” foundation deputy executive director Lin Mei-hsun (林美薰) told a press conference.
“If the order takes too long to issue, people may be in greater danger since the abuse may continue. There have been too many cases in which people were killed while waiting for an order,” Lin said.
Chuang Chiao-ju (莊喬汝), a lawyer who has handled many cases of domestic violence, shared the story of one of her clients at the press conference.
Chuang said she was hired by a woman who, after enduring years of abuse, had decided to take her two children and leave her husband, and had applied for a protection order.
Although her application was approved, it was not issued immediately. While she waited, her husband came to her workplace every day and kneeled outside the building, begging her to return, Chuang said.
“She called the police, but without the order the officers could not force the husband to leave. Some of her colleagues and the officers told her she should give her husband another chance because he looked very sincere,” Chuang said. “A week later, he killed her with a knife in front of her eldest son.”
Chen Shu-fen (陳淑芬), the foundation’s counseling service director, said that the case was not an isolated one and that she had encountered many similar situations.
It should take no more than three days for a court to issue an order after it has been granted, Chen said.