There is no specific criminal provision prohibiting domestic violence
. Acts of physical and sexual violence are prohibited under the general provisions of the Penal Code.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was enacted in 2005, in order to allow for the issue of civil Protection Orders where acts of domestic violence has been committed or is envisaged. An act of domestic violence is defined under the civil law in the widest terms to include physical abuse and emotional abuse. Such an act of abuse becomes an act of domestic violence if it is committed within the environment of the home or even outside, by a ‘relevant person’ defined broadly. Section 364 empowers the court to determine the amount of compensation to be paid to the victim.
The Women and Media Collective in Sri Lanka reported a number of limitations of the domestic violence law. When an Interim Protection Order is issued there is provision in the Act for the court to order counselling. It is reported that this has led to women being advised to return to the abusive home environment.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) has expressed concern about the police seeking to mediate cases of domestic violence. 
Further, the Women and Media Collective has raised concerns that women face difficulties in accessing court proceedings. They report that from 2005-2009, a total of 219,825 clients sought assistance from Women in Need (a service provider), however only approximately 101 clients filed for Protection Orders.
Sri Lanka does not publish any official charge, prosecution or prevalence data on domestic violence. However, a 2013 UN study found that 45.6% of men surveyed admitted to having committed some form of sexual or physical violence against a domestic partner; while 42.9% of women reported to have experienced such violence in their lifetimes. About 10% of Sri Lankan men in relationships admitted sexually abusing their partners. 
Additionally, social attitudes impede the laws ability to effectively deal with domestic violence. According to one 2013 UN study, 31.8% of Sri Lankan men, and 37.5% of women believed that there are times when a women deserves to be beaten; and 41.2% of women, and 58% of women agreed that a woman should tolerate violence to keep her family together.
in Sri Lanka is prohibited by Chapter XVI of the Penal Code.
Marital rape is not in general a criminal offence under the Penal Code as amended (1995) except in the case where the spouses are separated under a court order.
Under the Code, rape victims are not required to provide evidence of physical injuries to the body in order to prosecute perpetrators of a grave crime.
There is limited data to assess the extent of sexual and gender-based violence against women in Sri Lanka. According to the US Department of State, the police recorded 900 incidents of rape during the first six months of 2012, but this number was an unreliable indicator of the degree of this problem because many victims were unwilling to file reports.
In 2008, the Asian Development Bank reported that the general perception is that there has been no decrease, and even perhaps an increase, in violence against women following the amendments to the Penal Code in the late 1990s to criminalise rape.
A 2010 Asian Human Rights Commission report on the state of human rights in Sri Lanka reported long delays in court proceedings, concluding that the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators has contributed to the de facto
decriminalization of rape.
The US State Department reports that an average rape case took six to 12 years to be resolved, 
and that services to assist victims of rape and domestic violence, such as crisis centres, legal aid, and counselling, were generally scarce due to a lack of funding.
A 2013 UN study on attitudes to rape, revealed that 14.5% of all men surveyed in Sri Lanka admitted to have committed rape in their lifetimes: 15.5% had committed rape of partner, 6.2%% committed non-partner rape in their lifetime, while 1.6% admitted to participating in a gang rape.
The most common motivation was cited as sexual entitlement, followed by punishment.
Moreover, a 1.9% of men reported that they were younger than 15 years at the time they first perpetrated rape.
Social attitudes towards rape are also problematic in Sri Lanka. The same study found that 29.9% of men and 31.9% of women believed that when a woman is raped, she is usually to blame for putting herself in that situation.
is a criminal offence carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison under Section 345 of the Penal Code. Although there are no reliable figures on the prevalence of the crime, the Asian Development Bank reports that sexual harassment is trivialised and there is a culture of acceptance around violence against women.
Female genital mutilation is not a general practice in Sri Lanka.
Under section 303 of the Penal Code abortion
is generally illegal in Sri Lanka, and carries punishment of up to seven years of imprisonment, fine or both if performed with the woman’s consent. However, the Penal Code has provisions for termination of pregnancy if it is in good faith to save the life of the woman.
Access to abortion depends on social class with women from higher income households more easily accessing abortion after consulting a psychiatrist for severe mental depression. The psychiatrist may advise an abortion in order to save the life of the mother, and a qualified medical practitioner may then terminate the pregnancy in a private or government hospital. Women from middle-income and lower income households, however, must often resort to abortions performed by “back-door abortionists” under primitive and unhygienic conditions, resulting in high maternal mortality and chronic ill health: which account for about 10% of maternal mortality.
The 2006-2007 Demographic Health Survey found that 68% of married women were using some method of contraception,
with 53% using modern methods.
Women’s physical integrity in Sri Lanka has also been gravely affected by the decades of armed conflict.
The European Centre on Constitutional and Human Rights cites a Danish study on the use of torture by Sri Lankan law enforcement agents. The study showed evidence that sexual violence had been used against women by those enforcing law as a form of torture. The study emphasized that cases of sexual abuses were often not ‘discovered’ and reported, even by organisations or persons working at the local level, due to issues of fear, stigma and shame. Tamil women and girls have historically been the targets of various forms of sexual assault following their arrest or detention at checkpoints. Such assaults were justified on the grounds that they or their family members were suspected members of the Tamil insurgency.
Widespread sexual violence and crime has also been a serious issue in internment camps during the conflict.
Even following the end of the country’s three-decades-long civil war, many Tamil women, especially widows and the wives of disappeared or ‘surrendered’, continue to be vulnerable to sexual harassment, transactional sex, rape, exploitation or assault by army personnel or other militias, often with impunity.
 CEDAW (2010a) pp. 23-24 The Prevetion of Domestic Violence Ast of 2005, http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/4c03ba2f2.pdf  The Women and Media Collective (2010), p. 35  The Women and Media Collective (2010), p. 35  The Women and Media Collective (2010), p. 35  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 29  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 53  The Women and Media Collective (2010), p. 30  Penal Code, 1883 (as amended by Act No.6, 29 of 1995), Section 363 (ii)  US State Department (2013)  Asian Development Bank (2008), p. 35  AHRC (2010), p. 50  US State Department (2013)  US State Department (2013)  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 40  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 44  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 43  UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV (2013), p. 53  Asian Development Bank (2008), p. 36  CEDAW (2010), p. 11  CEDAW (2011), p. 7  Department of Census and Statistics (2007)  European Centre on Constitutional and Human Rights (2010), p. 13  European Centre on Constitutional and Human Rights (2010), p. 14  Minority Rights Group (2013), p. 3