Advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the Tunisian government of not doing enough to protect women against domestic violence despite progressive legislation it adopted five years ago.
In a report released on Thursday the New York-based NGO said implementation of the law by the authorities remained "insufficient".
"The report reveals a gap between the law's text - which is very good - and the implementation of the law in reality, which leaves women insufficiently protected. Protection and assistance are not systematically provided to support them (women who report violence, Ed.), and there is sometimes reluctance to implement the law as it stands", said HRW's Tunisia director, Salsabil Chellali.
According to the report, the authorities are failing to react, investigate, and systematically offer protection to women who report incidents of violence.
"Tunisia must now implement this law in an effective and optimal way. Which means it must provide the material and financial means within the specialised units that respond to violence against women, but also at the level of justice and health personnel. It must as well enable women to have access to emergency accommodation centres across the country", demanded HRW's Tunisia director.
In 2021 Tunisian police registered nearly 69,000 complaints of violence against women. Many however fear the real number is much higher.