Lithuania has signed but not yet ratified the Council of Europe ‘Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence’.
Since 2011, domestic violence
has been a criminal offence in Lithuania, under the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence.
The 2011 law includes a comprehensive definition of domestic violence, defined as any ‘intentional physical, mental, sexual, economic or another influence exerted on a person by an act or omission as a result whereof the person suffers physical, property or non-pecuniary damage’. 
The law protects all family members including women and men, and married or cohabiting, same-sex partners and ex-partners.
The Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence allows prosecutors to bring criminal assault charges in cases of domestic violence;
however, it does not specify specific criminal penalties.
In addition, police can issue a restraining order against the perpetrator for the duration of any investigation and subsequent trial. However, the Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) network notes that long-term civil or criminal protection orders are not legislated for under the law.
According to the national report to the Human Rights Council (2011), an integrated mechanism is in place to oversee the implementation of the law, and to ensure that victims of domestic violence receive legal, social, and psychological support.
WAVE reports that as of 2011, there was a national strategy to combat domestic violence in place, overseen by a governmental coordinating body responsible for implementing and coordinating the policies regarding violence against women.
In March 2013, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that Lithuania had violated Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhumane or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case in question was brought by a Lithuanian woman who had been a victim of domestic violence, based on the authorities’ failure to investigate her allegations of ill treatment and to bring her partner to account.
Advocates for Human Rights note that in the period immediately following the new Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence coming into force, there was a marked increase in the number of police investigations initiated. In the four months following the law coming into force in December 2011, over 10,000 reports were made of domestic violence, initiating 3,300 investigations; by contrast, in the first half of 2011, 25,673 reports of domestic violence resulted in just 471 investigations.
No further information was found in regard to implementation of the new law.
The official the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) report (2011) included data from a survey on domestic violence that found that one third of victims had never sought help from anyone, including friends and family.
Research on violence against older women found that very few had reported abuse to the police; just 2.3% of women questioned said that they had approached the police after suffering violence. The three most commonly cited reasons for not reporting abuse (to the police, or anyone else) were thinking that no-one would be able to help, considering the abuse to be too trivial to warrant assistance, and not wanting anyone else to get involved.
One of the shadow reports submitted to the CEDAW Committee in 2008 notes that at that time, police and prosecutors often considered domestic violence to be a private matter, and rarely investigated cases unless the victim’s life was in danger.
The new law requires police to investigate all reports of domestic violence, including in cases where the victim does not want to press charges.
is a criminal offence in Lithuania.
The law is gender neutral, indicating that cases can also be brought where the victim is a man.
The definition of rape in the criminal code does not specifically include spousal rape. 
However, the Advocates for Human Rights note that the Criminal Code does not include marriage as defence
in rape cases.
Penalties for rape are up to fifteen years imprisonment, depending on the age of the victim and the number of perpetrators. No minimum penalty is given.
According to data held by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2010, 208 cases of rape were registered by the police in Lithuania.
In the same year, 152 people were charged with rape or attempted rape.
Advocates for Human Rights report 191 registered cases in 2011.
Information is not available as to how many of these cases resulted in a conviction.
At the Universal Periodic Review, it was noted that police officers and prosecutors lack competence and specialised skills in dealing with victims of sexual violence, and that in some cases, victims were treated as criminals.
is included under the Criminal Code.
Under the Criminal Code, a person is considered to have committed sexual harassment if he ‘in seeking sexual contact or satisfaction, harasses a person subordinate to him in office or otherwise by vulgar or comparable actions or by making offers or hints’.
Under the Criminal Code, sexual harassment is treated as a misdemeanour, and can be punished by a fine, deprivation of liberty, or arrest. No specific penalties are specified.
In addition, Sexual harassment is covered by the 1998 Law of the Republic of Lithuania On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.
The Law On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men covers verbal and physical offensive conduct of a sexual nature towards a person with whom there are work, business or other relations of subordination.
Under the Law On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, complaints of sexual harassment can be made to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman, who has a duty to investigate. The Ombudsman can impose administrative sanctions; however, the nature of these sanctions is not specified.
The national report to the Human Rights Council notes that victims can claim compensation, but again, no details are provided as to the level of this compensation.
In 2010, the Ombudsman’s office estimated that 20% of women were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
A shadow report submitted to the CEDAW Committee in 2008 states that sexual harassment in the workplace is a significant problem, but that few women report it because the burden lies with them to prove that the harassment has taken place, which is often hard to do.
Only two complaints were made to the Ombudsman’s office in 2010, and none were made in 2011.
The CEDAW shadow report goes on to note that lack of awareness of the law in regard to sexual harassment means that few people know that they are able to make complaints to the Ombudsman; 
this would indicate that the Law on Equal Opportunities is not currently being adequately understood in regard to sexual harassment.
While there are two national helplines operating for women experiencing gender-based violence, neither of these is set up to receive reports of sexual harassment.
In addition, the law stipulates that complaints to the Ombudsman must be made in writing.
According to a report by the Council of Europe, judges and other members of the judiciary do not routinely receive training on how to deal with cases of violence against women.
This would indicate that there is no programme in place to sensitise the judiciary to the legal provisions relating to sexual harassment.
A shadow report to the CEDAW Committee states that women are often reluctant to report sexual harassment, for fear of being blamed for what has taken place; sensationalist reporting of sexual harassment cases in the media does not help in encouraging women to report harassment. The report also notes that men are reluctant to report experiencing sexual harassment because of perceptions that such things cannot happen to a man.
During the Universal Period Review for Lithuania, the UN Human Rights Council drew attention to the reported failure of officials to prevent high rates of sexual harassment of single women at the Foreigners’ Registration Centre, which processes applications for asylum.
There is no evidence to suggest that female genital mutilation is practised in Lithuania.
is currently available on demand in Lithuania.
However, as of May 2013, a draft law was under consideration by the Lithuanian parliament that would ban abortion except in cases of rape or where the woman’s life or health was in danger. The bill was passed at its initial reading, but still needs to go before the Committees on Human Rights, Health Affairs and Legal Affairs; it will then return to the parliament for a second vote in late 2013.
 Council of Europe Treaty Office (2013)  Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence, Articles 5, 6, 12  Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence, Article 2  WAVE (2011)  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  US Department of State (2013)  WAVE (2011)  Human Rights Council (2011a), p.6  WAVE (2011)  Case of Valiulienė v. Lithuania (Application no. 33234/07), European Court of Human Rights, Judgment 26 March 2013. http://www.hrmi.lt/uploaded/PDF%20dokai/CASE%20OF%20VALIULIENE%20v.%20LITHUANIA_judgement.pdf (accessed 15 July 2013)  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  CEDAW (2011), p.19  Reingarde, Jolanta and Ilona Tamutiene (2010), p.39-40  Mecajeva, Liudmila and Audrone Kisieliene (2008) p.4-5  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 149  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 149  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 149  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2010)  Y-SAV (2012)  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Human Rights Council (2011c), p.5  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 152  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 152  Criminal Code of Lithuania, Article 152  Human Rights Council (2011a), p.5  Law of the Republic of Lithuania On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Article 1  Law of the Republic of Lithuania On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Article 24  Human Rights Council (2011a), p.5  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Mecajeva, Liudmila and Audrone Kisieliene (2008), p.6  Advocates for Human Rights (2013)  Mecajeva, Liudmila and Audrone Kisieliene (2008), p.6  WAVE (2011)  Law of the Republic of Lithuania On Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Article 18  Hagemann-White, Carol (2010), p.52  Mecajeva, Liudmila and Audrone Kisieliene (2008), p.8  Human Rights Council (2011b), p.11  United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013)  Lithuania Tribune, The (2013)