Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)


Family violence is a serious issue that affects women in Saudi Arabia. In response to cultural acceptance of violence between spouses in Saudi Arabia, the government issued its first law criminalizing domestic violence in 2013. The Protection from Abuse Act was proposed to improve protection for women and to punish the abusers, but several articles in the Act may reduce its effectiveness. Issuing laws prohibiting domestic violence cannot by itself protect women. Women should be protected under family law by preserving their rights to marry, divorce, obtain custody of children, and receive alimony. This dissertation will study the issue of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia. It will provide a clear understanding of domestic violence, women’s rights under Islam, and the source of law in Saudi Arabia. This dissertation will shed light on several problems in the Protection from Abuse Act and under family law and will provide ways for how to effectively improve the law.