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Wife-beaters face tough new laws

PARLIAMENT has approved a series of laws on domestic violence requiring aggressors to leave the homes of their victims following a court order, and not to come within five meters of the victims. The changes also increase penalties for rape from 2-8 years to 5-12 years in jail.

As of January 1 next year, a court has seven days after a notice is filed of domestic violence to decide whether to order an aggressor to leave a common residence. Aggressors who disobey the order can be jailed for a year.

Women's rights advocates have praised the changes, but say they will wait to see how they work in practice before further comment.

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