Questionnaire to civil society

on State Obligation and the Due Diligence Principle

to Eliminate Violence against Women



Due diligence is an important international principle. In the context of violence against women (VAW), it denotes a State’s obligation to take ‘reasonable’ action to prevent VAW, protect victims/survivors from VAW, investigate and prosecute incidences of VAW, punish perpetrators of VAW and provide redress for victims/survivors of VAW. This obligation applies to the State although most instances of VAW are committed by non-State actors (individuals not acting on Governmental authority) and within the private sphere. The principal aim of the Project is to add content to the international legal principle of ‘due diligence’ in the context of State responsibility to eliminate VAW. The objective is to create compliance indicators that are concrete and measurable across regions.


As part of this research we are conducting interviews and undertaking surveys with civil society/ non-governmental organisations (CSOs or NGOs) which advocate against VAW, provide intervention services to victims/survivors of VAW or which mission or objectives include eliminating VAW. One of the Project’s primary research tools is this questionnaire. The questionnaire will be distributed to 6-10 CSOs/NGOs in approximately 30-40 countries. The questionnaire aims to look into existing State measures and challenges encountered by CSOs/NGOs in their work to eliminate violence against women. The questionnaire will also probe civil society on its perception of State action in discharging its obligation; the effectiveness of these actions; and how they can be improved.

The findings of the report will be shared with Governments, inter-governmental organisations and civil society. We also propose to instrumentalise the findings into manuals, tool kits and training modules for practical application.


We need your help to provide information about your experiences and knowledge of laws, policies, procedures and practices related to violence against women in your country. Unless otherwise stated, please answer the questions based on your organisational experience, opinion, perception or knowledge. There are no right or wrong answers. As such, there is no necessity to conduct research into academic writings, papers and books before answering the questions although you may look up data specific to your Government/country if it helps you to answer the questions.

Please answer all questions as comprehensively as possible, providing links and additional information where possible. Where a box is provided, please tick or cross (√ or X) the box that corresponds with your opinion/answer. Where relevant, you may tick or cross (√ or X) more than one box.

If you are not sure of the answer to the question, or if you don’t know the answer to the question, please tick or cross (√ or X) “Not sure”. You may be contacted by our survey assistants should we require clarification on any of your answers. If you do not wish to be contacted, you may indicate that you do not wish to be contacted in question A12.

It takes about fifty minutes to complete the questionnaire.


Responses to this questionnaire should be sent in electronic format.


As it is important to specify particular gaps, as well as good practices, we have organised this questionnaire according to the five areas mentioned above. We would also like some basic information about your work.

    A. Organisation Profile

    B. Prevention of VAW

    C. Protection from VAW

    D. Prosecution and Investigation of VAW

    E. Punishment of Perpetrators

    F. Provision of Redress to Victims/Survivors


We assure you that your answers are treated in confidence and only aggregated data will be used in the final report, unless permission is specifically obtained from you for us to attribute any answers to your organisation. As this is a questionnaire addressed to CSOs/NGOs and not individual persons, we request that the person completing the questionnaire must have authority to speak on behalf of your organisation.

You will also be asked if you wish us to keep your identity confidential and if you wish not to be contacted by us for further information or clarification. Please make sure you answer these questions i.e. questions A11 and A12.


Good Practices: Practices that are effective and in addressing or impeding VAW and can be replicated.

Government: The government of your country or the country in which your organisation is most active; acting either on its own behalf or acting through a government actor, such as the police. Governments include national, state/provincial and local governments as well as any Governmental entities. In international law, the acts or omission of all levels of Governments their agencies are imputed to the national Governments which are generally the party held responsible under international law.  Such as the obligations under CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) which is ratified by 187 countries. Government programmes and activities also include those funded by the Government but carried out by non-Governmental agencies. In this questionnaire acts of State or Government includes those of the legislature and judiciary.

Helplines: Are telephone numbers which women are able to call when encountering VAW or threats of VAW when they are in need of services. Sometimes called hotlines.

Non-state actor: Individuals whose actions cannot be imputed to the Government/State. This means the individual was not acting on the authority, apparent or purported authority or with the sanction of the Government/State.

One stop centres: A location where the necessary services required by victims/survivors are provided. Doctors, medical personnel, police and counsellors are in attendance at this location. This will minimise the need for the victim/survivor to shuttle from the hospital to the police station and other agencies.

Perpetrator: Person who commits VAW

Recidivism: Habitual falling back into crime.

Restitution: Restoration of loss suffered to the victim/survivor.

State: See ‘government’

VAW or violence against women: Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

Victim/survivor: The woman impacted by VAW or against whom VAW was committed.

The questionnaires are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish.