Public Policies

This section details Dominican public policies that guarantee women human rights as well as legal provisions dealings with gender-based violence:

Law 61-93 declares November 25 as “Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”

Law 24-97 modified the Penal Code to categorize violence against women or domestic violence as a crime.

Violence against Women in Art. 309-01 establishes: “Violence against women is all actions or conduct, public or private, due to her gender, that cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to a woman, through the use of physical force or psychological, verbal violence, intimidation or persecution.”

Intrafamily or domestic violence in Art. 309-2 states: “Domestic or intrafamily violence is any conduct through the use of physical force or psychological or verbal violence, intimidation or persecution, against one or various members of the family or against any person sharing a mutual residence, against the spouse, ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner or consensual partner, or against the person that has a child in common in order to cause him/her physical or psychological harm to his/her person or harm to his/her goods, committed by father, mother, tutor, guardian, spouse, ex-spouse, person sharing a mutual residence, person formally sharing a mutual residence, or consensual partner, or a person who has authority, protection or care over the family.”

Sexual Aggression, Art. 330: “Sexual aggression is any sexual act committed with violence, constraint, threat, surprise or trickery.”

Rape, Art. 331: “Rape is any act of sexual penetration, of any nature, committed against a person through violence, constraint, threat or surprise. It carries a sentence of 10 to 15 and 10 to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of one hundred to two hundred thousand pesos.”

Violence in a Romantic Relationship, Art. 332: “An equal sentence (10 to 20 years) will be invoked against the person that engages in a non-consensual sexual activity in a romantic relationship, in any of the following cases: a) Through the use of force, violence, intimidation or threat; b) if the person has annulled his/her consent and ability to resist by any means; c) when, for illness or mental incapacity, temporary or permanent, the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act in the moment it happened; d) When physical or psychological violence is inflicted on the partner in order to obligate him/her to participate or involve him/herself in undesired sexual relations with a third person.”  Fine of one thousand to two thousand pesos.

  • Law 86-99: changed the General Directorate for the Promotion of Women into the Ministry of Women.
  • Law 103-99 about domestic work, modifies articles 263 and 264 of the Work Code.
  • Law 189-01, which establishes the equality of men and women with relation to the administration of community goods.
  • Law 88-03 provides temporary housing or shelters for female victims of violence and their children.
  • Law 137-03 about the illicit trafficking of immigrants and other people.

Source: Ministerio de la Mujer (Ministry of Women)

The 2010 Constitutional reform recognizes the shared responsibility of both men and women to support family unity. At the same time, it recognizes the obligation of the Dominican State in protecting maternity (Art. 55).

Additionally, article 29 of the Constitution establishes that the Dominican State must promote “the necessary measurements to guarantee the eradication of inequalities and gender-based discrimination” (number 4), and also must “promote and guarantee the balanced participation of men and women in nominations for positions in popular elections for the management and decision making in the public sphere, in the administration of justice and in control bodies of the State (numeral 5).




International Agreements

International agreements ratified by the country which guarantee women’s human rights and confront violence against women:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.
  • Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Civil Rights to Women, 1949
  • Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women, 1949.
  • Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 1953.
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, United Nations 1979.
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Against Women, 1982.
  • Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Sanction and Eradicate Violence Against Women. OAS (Belem do Para), 1995.



Code for the Protection and Fundamental Rights of Boys, Girls and Adolescents Law 136-03

This code guarantees all boys, girls and adolescents living in the Dominican Republic the exercise and full and effective enjoyment of their fundamental rights. This code establishes the integral protection of these rights and regulates the role and relation of the State, society, families and individuals in children’s lives from their birth until they reach the age of 18.

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