Domestic violence against women for the past decades has been rated as the one of the major social, justice and relationship problem. The most crucial factor in this case is the realization of feminism. In the past years intimate abuse was seen as a relationship problem, the current public engagement concerning the realities of abuse has led to domestic violence being taken seriously than before. So many organizations have come up with support programs for the victims, shelter, laws, studies, treatment programs and innovation of professional ways of handling the victims and the offenders. New approaches continue to be introduced on daily basis in the hope of coming up with a successful ways of tackling domestic violence.
Domestic violence is literary defined as abuse and violence committed by males to their female partners. Such case arises when an individual in a marriage or relationship tries to control or dominate the other. Domestic violence is mainly used to take total control over an individual, abusers uses shame , intimidation, threat, fear or even hurt in order to pin the other person down.
Domestic Violence against women is defined by the European Union as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life". It is a systematic and widespread violation of human rights and a way of gender based discrimination.
It occurs all over the world be it rich or poor and mostly affects women and girls regardless of socio economic status or age. 70 percent of women experience sexual or physical violence from men in their lifetime according to the available data globally. Psychological, physical and emotional results of violence against women for communities or a person are extreme. Violence victims undergo psychological and emotional trauma through humiliation, threats, terror, harassment, exploitation and physical injury all this leads to chronic health consequences and even sometime death.
Domestic violence does not discriminate, it happens within ethnic background, economic levels and all age ranges but women are mostly victimized. A study by WHO multi country showed that key factors for being a perpetrator are low level of education, witnessing violence in the family, exposure to child maltreatment, attitudes of accepting violence and gender inequality and use of alcohol.
This particular paper combines information from various reports on violence against women across the world. It contains general data and comments from different researchers
Literature review in domestic violence is rich. General progress has been made in European Union (EU) to improve public awareness and giving women suffering from the abuse a place to go to. Many women continue to undergo violence in the hands of their abusive partners in all member states. A research conducted by the Council of Europe indicates that one European woman out of four experiences domestic violence at a certain point in their life, and between 6-10 percent women in a certain year suffer from domestic violence. Measure were put in place which collected data on domestic violence, these were European Observatory and EU wide hotline which would help victims. These measures were pointed out in the 2nd Women in Power Summit in March 2010 by female minister and political leader from EU in the Cadiz Declaration. The Cadiz Declaration promised to work towards the eradication of domestic violence.
Media in European Union has done a lot of on awareness of domestic violence against women with the television having a high rate of 92% and newspapers and magazines with 59%.
According to reports conducted by Centers for Disease Control in the United States, it indicates that domestic violence is a preventable health problem that affects more than 10 percent of the population. Data received from hospitals and medical records, criminal justice system, survey, mental health records and social services shows that a lot of women as a result of domestic violence are injured or even killed with a person they were or are involved intimately. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation almost one third of women homicide victims as per the police records are murdered by their partners.
According to data collected by National Institute of justice Against Women Survey (NVAWS) which was funded by National Institute of Justice and Centre for Disease Control, an estimation of 5.3 million domestic violence occur within United States women above 18 years. The violence leads to almost 2.0 million injuries and 550,000 or even more people need medical attention. In 1995, a report from Federal Bureau of Investigation indicated that 1,252 women of 18 years and above were killed by their intimate partners.
The World Health Organization in collaboration with Tropical Medicine and London School of Hygiene and the South African Medical Research Council, conducted a study on prevalence of violence against women by their partners 81 countries in the year 2010. According to the study the most affected areas are the Eastern Mediterranean, South Asia and Africa with a rate of 37% violence from their intimate partners. For both domestic violence from intimate partner and non partner, Africa had 45.6% followed by Southeast Asia with 40.2%.
Domestic violence against women in Africa is still hidden at large, though it has received more attention globally in the last decades. This is so because of the predominance of patriarchy system in Africa which gives men more power whereas women are perceived as subordinate to men. Many societies accept violence against women as a cultural norm and more often it is condoned by leaders and community, low rates of reporting has been experienced due to the stigma attached to the female victims and if women do report violence against them they are never heard because authorities believe that such cases are dealt with privately or within the family.
These factors leads to lack of information and data on domestic violence against women in Africa and this weakens the ability of policy making: to provide effective service, do a follow up on trends and progress in addressing and fighting domestic violence against women, come up with policies and legislative reforms and evaluate the effect of measure taken.
Two bodies which are United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Center for Gender and Social Development were charged with offering support to other member countries in the African continent so as to gain gender equality. And ACGS/UNECA has committed itself to reduce and prevent domestic violence by coming up with measures to specific countries in Africa, and introduction of method of data collection to be used by member countries and any other body involved in similar activity
A survey carried out in India by National Family Health Survey in 29 states during 2005-2006, found out that quite a large number of women have been sexually or physically abused by their husbands at a certain point in their lives. According to the nationwide survey 37.2% of women experience violence after their marriage, Bihar is the leading in violence against women with the rate of 59%. 63% of these cases are reported from urban centre, Rajasthan registered 46.3%, Tamil Nadu 41.9%, Madhya Pradesh 45.8%, Manipur 43.9%, West Bengal 40.3% and Uttar Pradesh 42.4%..
A revelation by United Nations Fund report indicated that two thirds of married women in India were domestic violence victims. Women between the ages of 15 to 44 undergo a lot of violence in India which kills and disables them.
Police forces from Scotland have collected data on domestic abuse since 1999, the recorded incidents are as follows; in 2002 36,010 incidents were recorded in which 59% of them never to record it as an offense or crime. 90% involved a male being a perpetrator and a female being a victim. The women voluntary organizations are the main source with the highest number of women experiencing violence. A recent history of abuse registered 5,873 women requesting for refuge according to the Scottish Women Aid. The Woman Support project, an organization which helps women affected by such cases as abuse or violence got 1,550 requests to support between the month of April 2002 and March 2003.
Findings collected from local survey in UK by use of more sensitive methods and research tools have indicated a higher rate of domestic violence in than the government surveys. A research carried out on five local UK studies showed that four of women in 30-40% have encountered violence by their partner in their lifetime.
A study was conducted in a health care context in domestic violence in Hackney, they availed questionnaires in Turkish, English and Bengali, 21% of women had suffered injuries, 41% experiencing physical violence from their partners and16% forced to have sex. Many of them were assaulted during pregnancies, and those who had experienced physical assault one out of three told the doctor, only 17% was recorded in medical records.
The researchers used quite a lot of methods to analyze and deliver the reports, methods used are as follows; questionnaires, survey and survey interviews. Every method has its limitations as well as the significance
The use of questionnaire for elicits experience, feelings and beliefs of the sample. Questionnaire is concise and contains preplanned questions to help get the information concerning a certain need on a particular topic. Whereas survey on the other hand is a non experimental descriptive method of data collection, it is important when a researcher needs to collect information on a case that cannot be directly observed. Surveys area often used in library and information science.
Both the questionnaires and survey share the same merits and demerits. The advantages of both instruments as a means of data collection are that their cost are not expensive when getting data from quite a large number of people spread in a wide area. Aside from the fact that many people are familiar with survey, the risk of the evaluator being biased are less because the same questions are asked of all the respondents. For many people it is comfortable responding to survey than being interviewed.
The demerits of survey and use of questionnaires is that the meaning of the items will vary in all the respondents, diversity and size of the sample will only be limited to people with ability to read, inability to get additional details and the fact that there is no direct contact with the respondent, one can never the tell the completion of survey. Good and quality survey questions take more time to develop and are hard to write, thus the survey it might not be complete leading to low response rate.
Interview as a tool of data collection posses its own merits and demerits. Interviews use of certain types of questions and response from specific identified persons are received. It also allows visual use, sequence of question are easily changed. The disadvantage with this method is that it is difficult to maintain and control interview supervision, hard to identify individuals to be included in the sample. The respondents are likely to be a subject to bias and generally it is expensive method of administration
Domestic violence is a burden in all spheres of social system for it affects the growth of the nation in terms of health care, labour loss of nation’s fortune in law enforcement. Domestic violence is a problem that is widely spread geographically and its incidents so extensive, it is a global issue running across all boundaries as well as through racial, socio economic, class distinction and even cultural. Domestic violence has deep impacts on women’s health and general well being, its cost to the society individual and the health system is extreme.
Programs need to be put in place in order to address battered women’s needs, including the ones that concentrate on livelihood skills and development of self efficacy. Victims of domestic violence should be involved in the implementation and program planning for it to be effective and accessible; they should be agents with ability to make changes to their own lives. The experts from public health should take an important part in connecting with Non Governmental Organization and any other voluntary organization in creating social support networks.
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