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Why Domestic Violence is Widely Accepted in Most Developing Countries

Domestic violence is a type of violence that occurs in a small group mostly a family and it can done in all things that can hurt its target / Photo by: Doidam 10 via Shutterstock

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence is any intentional use of physical force or power against another person, group or community and that result in death, injury or physical harm. Approximately five thousand people die every day as a result of intentional cases of interpersonal, self-directed or collective violence while thousands of others are seriously injured because of being victims or witnesses of abuse. Domestic violence is a type of violence that is characterized by abusive behavior by one or both partners in a relationship. It can take place in different forms such as physical aggression, emotional abuse, controlling behavior, economic deprivation r sexual behavior.

Domestic violence against women

The majority of the violence directed towards women these days is done by their intimate partners such as spouses or even fathers and fathers-in-law. For example, over four million people in the United States are victims of intimate partner abuse. Seventy-five percent of those women had been abused physically or sexually since the age of fifteen years by a partner.

Rape and sexual violence

Both rape and sexual aggression might lead to fractures, bruises, stabbings, and other physical injuries. They could also lead to infection, bleeding and chronic pelvic pain. Women who have undergone these experiences tend to be isolated and stigmatized. Some women are even experienced forced sexual violence from their intimate partners. The worst thing is that some women believe that their husbands are justified since the community strictly views domestic abuse as a family issue.

Rape is also synonymous with domestic violence and it can cause physical and mental trauma on a person mostly a woman / Photo by: Doidam 10 via Shutterstock

 

The extent of domestic violence in developing countries

In developing countries, domestic violence against women is socially accepted. Thirty-six percent of the people in those countries believe that domestic violence is justified in certain situations. This could be one of the reasons why this behavior is spreading at an alarming rate. Researchers at the University of Bristol conducted analyzed data from 1.17 million men and women in forty-nine developing countries using demographic and health surveys. Their study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The main aim of the study was to determine whether a husband has the right to beat his wife in case she goes out without informing him, neglects her children, burns food, refuses to have sex or argues with him. A large percent believed that the act was justified on at least one of the situations. Also, the attitude towards such acts of domestic violence has a varied in the forty-nine countries. The countries with the low and middle-income supported it while the rest did not support it.

Apart from the economic situation of the countries, other factors that played a significant role in the acceptance of domestic violence were gender, with women more likely to justify the behavior than men and, social recognition, presence or absence of democratic regimes and country level factors such as the political environment. In this case, countries with frequent and severe political conflicts within the past five years accepted the behavior. Also, women with more economic rights were against domestic violence.

36% of people in developing countries are said to believe that domestic violence is a consequence of the victim / Photo by: Adriana Mahdalova via Shutterstock

 

Challenging existing discriminatory gender norms

From this study, it is clear that geographically-differentiated and gender-specific interventions targeting the societal acceptance of domestic violence need to be invented and initiated. Some of the measures that have been initiated include women’s labor participation and women holding seats in the national parliament. However, these policies have not influenced the society’s acceptance of domestic violence in a significant way. This is why international, domestic violence prevention policies should be put into place. 

Tolerance of abuse

The fact that domestic violence by women is highly justified in most societies is a sign that women have internalized the idea that a husband who physically or verbally assaults their wife has exercised a right that serves her interest. Such behavior is viewed as legitimate disciplining rather than an act of violence in those societies. Therefore, many women are tolerant of the abuse they face. One of the reasons for this tolerance is the desire to keep their families intact. A lot of women in the society believe that the welfare of their children is dependent upon maintaining the family together. Also, the sacredness of the marital bond, the love, and the loyalty women feel towards their husband also causes them to tolerate the abuse. In fact, some believe that they have no right to complain, keep away or seek help because of the self-sacrificing nature of marriage.

Domestic violence has devastating psychological impacts that outlive the physical injuries. Most people are advised to go for counseling but even after the counseling; fifty percent of the women retain symptoms of stress. If any person becomes a victim of domestic violence, they gain the fear of forming relationships and trusting others. In worst cases, the victims are rejected by their partners and family or even blamed for the act. This behavior can be fought in various ways. For example, the government and other organizations in the developing countries put a lot of effort in creating domestic violence awareness and initiate campaigns against such behavior. Women should be advised to run away from such marriages, also seek medical assistance and also have the courage to disclose their abusive situation to any person who can help them.

 

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