Turkey's Supreme Court this week ruled for harsher penalties to be given in domestic violence cases, in response to an apparent increase in the number of domestic violence incidents.
The third penal department of the Supreme Court, headed by Şebnem Günaydın, the only female head of a department at the court, ruled for sentences to be given at their upper limit in cases of all violent attacks against spouses, children or family members.
The court reversed several judgments issued by criminal courts of first instances in cases of "malicious wounding with intent," which has prison terms of between one and three years in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).
The reversed sentences were increased from the lower limit of one year, asking for all sentences to start from at least two years in jail.
In its exemplary ruling, the penal department also recognized several hard objects as possible weapons in addition to knives, including ashtrays, shoes and phones.
Within the framework of the ruling, if a spouse, child or family member sustains "an injury that cannot be healed with basic medical treatment, or sustains an injury from a weapon," the perpetrator may face up to 4.5 years in jail.
Turkey has taken significant steps in recent years to curb violence against women through both legal and social avenues, including the establishment of hundreds of shelters across the country for female victims of domestic violence
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