Malawi courts will start hearing cases of sexual denial in marriage whereby husbands or wives, who have been victims of sex intimacy denial from their marriage homes will now have opportunity to seek legal remedies.
In Malawi sex-withholding is so widespread arising from family disputes.
A special law commission has recommended to government that victims of sex-refusal in marriage should seek legal redress.
Delivering a report by the Special law commission on technical review of Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA) , Chairperson of the commission, High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga said prior to enactment of PVDA, the only redress for victims of domestic violence was through the mechanism of criminal law especially offences provided for under the penal code.
Justice Kamanga said when she shared the findings and recommendations at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe on Friday that the penal code was inadequate because criminal law as provided for under the penal code could only be invoked where domestic violence resulted into serious physical injury to the victim.
In the commission’s report, the definition of domestic violence has been reviewed.
The newly recommended definition of domestic violence has been devised as engaging of economic, emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse.
“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,” said Kamanga.
Law experts argue that withholding sex in marriage relationship is “emotional abuse.”
“ Sex is the glue which holds a relationship/marriage together. It is supposed to be the one thing which separates a couple from just being friends or just being roommates.
“Denying one’s partner sex and sexual intimacy is abuse because it makes their partner feel unwanted, undesired, unworthy, unattractive, unhappy and unfulfilled,” observed one lawyer after reading the Law Commission report.
Sexless marriage truly sucks. The emotional abuse truly hurts.
The new report also recommend that a person can seek court redress if a partner is making persistent phone calls or following the wife or husband at working place.
Some of the members in the commission include; Mr Chrispine Sibande, Joseph Kazima from Ministry of Gender, Disability and child development, Ms Getrude Hiwa S.C, from Law Commission, Ms Fiona Kalemba from the Ministry of Justice, Tinyade Kachika from Civil Society.
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
Nyasa Times will give full details regarding the report on new recommendations in subsequent versions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :