So you beat your wife and kids. Not a big deal. Just make sure there’s no physical evidence and you’ve tried other options beforehand—you know, screaming at them, going cold in bed—and you’re home free.
This was the ostensible reasoning behind a court ruling in the United Arab Emirates. The case involved a man who had beaten his wife and daughter, leaving them with substantial injuries on their lips and teeth. The court ruled that the man had gone too far by allowing his strikes to leave marks and bruises.
As Chief Justice Falah al Hajer put it:
Although the [law] permits the husband to use his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right … if the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment.
While violence like this is against traditional Islamic law, experts argue that the UAE rulings are based on maintaning a patriarchal elite power structure.