08.29.1312:05 PM ET

Saudi Domestic-Abuse Law Passes

“Represents a turning point.”

In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia passed a domestic-violence law this week. It is particularly geared toward protecting women, who represent 98 percent of all domestic-abuse victims in the country, according to the law. If convicted, perpetrators face jail time of one month to one year, plus a fine of $1,330 to $13,300. Activists are pushing for immediate implementation of the law, which covers both physical and psychological abuse. “The law represents a turning point in the field of human-rights protection in the kingdom and mainly offers protection to women,” says Mufleh Qahtani, the head of Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights.