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15 Biggest Countries Where Domestic Violence is Legal

It’s time to get serious as we look at the biggest countries where domestic violence is legal. Although there are countries that domestic violence is punishable by law, there are also some that there is no legislation against domestic violence.

Domestic violence is an absolute horror in any country. It is a painful subject to think about–however, that is exactly why we need to address it. What makes a horrible thing even worse is when there are no laws or greater authoritative organizations empowering people to step in and stop the violence. It is extremely difficult for a person to get out of this kind of situation but women do it every day. However, they need a solid support network–and in countries where domestic violence is legal, the case for those networks, and government funding for such networks, must be a difficult one to argue.

Of course, women and children are the larger majority of domestic violence cases. However, men are also victims of such abuse. In our list of 11 Countries with the Highest Rates of Domestic Violence in the World, Chad made it to the top spot. But with only a population of 14.8 million, Chad did not make it on the biggest countries where domestic violence is legal.



One of the reasons for legalized domestic violence is a misogynistic culture or belief system or an extreme version of a religion that allows such violence. This is particularly true if that ideology also dictates the law in non-religious matters and areas of that country.  Many Middle Eastern countries have no laws that make domestic violence illegal. More than any statements promoting it–there is an establishment of a culture within certain countries that turns a blind eye to these acts. Many women would be hesitant or downright refuse to report domestic violence for fear of hurting their family’s honor. In addition even if they do report–many officials would perceive this as a family matter rather than a police matter. Per Freedom House, “In Saudi Arabia in particular, guardianship laws make it very difficult for battered wives to find a safe haven.”

There are also many African countries, in which women have lesser or no power to voice out even their opinions. There has been one woman president in all of the 53 countries in Africa in the past 50 years. Additionally, according to Naw Magazine, women make up 2.5% of the CEOs of the top 200 African countries.  These types of basic inequity stand at the root of why there is no legal barrier to domestic violence in certain regions. According to the WHO, 71% of women in Ethiopia have reported physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. More than 99% of women and girls in Egypt interviewed for a survey published by UN Women in 2013 reported that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment.

Since we are talking about the biggest countries where domestic violence is legal we have taken into account the population as a basis as to which countries will be placed on our list. Worldometers is a live feed where we can determine the population of the largest countries that have no regulation on domestic violence.

Is there any way we can prevent domestic violence? Certainly, education is key. There are also those who fight against domestic violence.

Let us now see which are the 15 biggest countries where domestic violence is legal.

15. Burkina Faso

Population: 19 million

No provisions against domestic violence are available in Burkina Faso, not even specialized procedure or court procedure for domestic violence cases.

14. Cameroon

Population: 24.3 million

A law that protects victims from their abusers does not exist in Cameroon.  Even marital rape is not a crime.  In 1997, a Family Code was drafted but up to now is STILL not adopted.

Artem Furman/

Artem Furman/

13. Yemen

Population: 27.9 million

Women’s life in Yemen is difficult.  Child brides are the trend and men in Yemen are superior by law and tradition where husbands are often the firsthand abusers.

Lizette Potgieter/

Lizette Potgieter/

12. Uzbekistan

Population: 30.56 million

Discrimination is still widespread in Uzbekistan, even if they have provided a law of equality between men and women.  In terms of employment and political aspects, women have limited roles.

15 Biggest Countries Where Domestic Violence is Legal

Warren Goldswain/

11. Afghanistan

Population: 33.89 million

A woman in Afghanistan who runs away from home can face legal charges imprisonment of five years and if she catches her husband committing adultery and kills her husband, the highest punishment possible will fall upon her. However, if the husband catches his wife cheating and kills her, he will only be imprisoned for two years. Please don’t kill anyone for committing adultery, or you know–for any reason.

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Oleg Znamenskiy /

10. Morocco

Population: 35 million

Because of the many who oppose implementing the bill that protects women from violence is the reason why up to now there’s still a practice of domestic violence.  A Morrocan  TV show airing how covers domestic violence bruises with make-up stirred controversy.

serkan senturk/

serkan senturk/

9. Iraq

Population: 38.3 million

Suicide is the solution of Iraqi women who are victims of domestic violence, in case you weren’t already incredibly depressed reading the 15 biggest countries where domestic violence is legal.  UN women are pursing their advocacy in ending domestic violence in Iraq through legislative reform.

Yupa Watchanakit/

Yupa Watchanakit/

8. South Sudan

Population: 41.8 million

Rape, sexual slavery, and genital mutilation are rampant in South Sudan. Reporting such domestic violence incident is encouraged to strengthen advocacy of ensuring legal assistance to the victims.

Rommel Canlas/

Rommel Canlas/

7. Kenya

Population: 48 million

Although a protection against domestic violence act was established in 2015, emergency centers and shelter houses were neglected, of which these are important rescue facilities.

15 Biggest Countries Where Domestic Violence is Legal

6. Tanzania

Population: 56.3 million

Domestic violence is considered epidemic in Tanzania that ranked 6th on our list of biggest countries where domestic violence is legal–particularly in the form of depriving women of  working, and socializing.  Most women do not report these cases because they do not have the knowledge that the above-mentioned are even forms of domestic violence.

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5. Myanmar

Population: 56.7 million

The protection of violence against women bill in Myanmar, next on our list of biggest countries where domestic violence is legal is still under review, which includes forms of violence like intimate partner violence, and marital rape as well as violence through tradition and customary practice.

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4. Iran

Population: 80.6 million

An Iranian woman needs permission from her husband especially when we are talking of important documents like obtaining a passport. Wives killing their husbands are on the rise due to domestic violence, and the fact that they are unable to legally divorce their husbands.

Worst Countries for Solo Female Tourists: Sexual Harassment and Rape


3. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Population: 81.3 million

War ravaged DR Congo where domestic violence is also high, COFAPRI encourages women empowerment through education and giving them options of income-generating activities.

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Sam DCruz /

2. Egypt

Population: 94.6 million

Domestic violence is becoming the norm in Egypt, next on our list of biggest countries where domestic violence is legal. Suspicion of wrongdoing is one cause for a husband to commit violent acts. Women in Egypt, similar to many of the countries on this list, are dependent on men for much of their basic needs. This structure enables these cycles of violence to continue because women may feel trapped. There are rescue organizations to help–like Amnesty International and the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Rights.

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1. Russia

Population: 143.4 million

To top our list of 15 countries where domestic violence is legal is Russia where physical pain that does not lead to serious body injuries does not face heavy penalties.