To empower women through increased awareness of their basic human rights and reflection on excerpts from the Guru Granth Sahib. "Domestic violence may be the most common source of serious injury to women. Recent research indicates that it results in more injuries requiring medical treatment in women than rape, auto accidents, and muggings combined." Overcoming barriers to the detection of domestic abuse. American Family Physician 1996;53(8):2575-2580.
If you have been hit by your partner, you don't have to be afraid. You don't have to be controlled by your partners intimidating behavior.
The natural history of partner abuse is generally predictable and is characterized by a repetitive and generally escalating cycle of recurrent violence followed by periods of reconciliation. The incidence of underlying mental illness (including deviant personality types) is no different in batterers than in the general population. It is well documented that the treatment of alcoholism in batterers does not cure the battering. Battered women are often misdiagnosed and treated with anxiolytic medications. Sassetti MR: Domestic violence. Prim Care 1993;20(2):289-305.
|If you are in immediate
danger, call 911.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (799-7233)
Violence against women in the family occurs in developed and developing countries alike. It has long been considered a private matter by bystanders -- including neighbors, the community and government. But such private matters have a tendency to become public tragedies.
In the United States, a woman is beaten every 18 minutes. Indeed, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury among women of reproductive age in the United States. Between 22 and 35 per cent of women who visit emergency rooms are there for that reason.
The highly publicized trial of O. J. Simpson, the retired United States football player acquitted of the murder of his former wife and a male friend of hers, helped focus international media attention on the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse.
In Peru, 70 per cent of all crimes reported to the police involve women beaten by their husbands.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto strongly defended a 35-year-old mother of two who was severely burned by her husband in a domestic dispute.
"There is no excuse for such a behavior", the Prime Minister declared after visiting the hospitalized victim. "My presence here is to send a message to all those who violate Islamic teachings and defy laws of the land with their inhuman treatment of women. This will not be tolerated."
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in the 400 cases of domestic violence reported in 1993 in the province of Punjab, nearly half ended with the death of the wife.
According to the Special Reporter's report, many Governments now recognize the importance of protecting victims of domestic abuse and taking action to punish perpetrators. The establishment of structures allowing officials to deal with cases of domestic violence and its consequences is a significant step towards the elimination of violence against women in the family.
The Special Reporter's report highlights the importance of adopting legislation that provides for prosecution of the offender. It also stresses the importance of specialized training for law enforcement authorities as well as medical and legal professionals, and of the establishment of community support services for victims, including access to information and shelters.
Some females fall prey to violence before they are born, when expectant parents abort their unborn daughters, hoping for sons instead. In other societies, girls are subjected to such traditional practices as circumcision, which leave them maimed and traumatized. In others, they are compelled to marry at an early age, before they are physically, mentally or emotionally mature.
Women are victims of incest, rape and domestic violence that often lead to trauma, physical handicap or death.
And rape is still being used as a weapon of war, a strategy used to subjugate and terrify entire communities. Soldiers deliberately impregnate women of different ethnic groups and abandon them when it is too late to get an abortion.
The Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women declared that rape in armed conflict is a war crime -- and could, under certain circumstances, be considered genocide.
Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali told the Beijing Conference that more women today were suffering directly from the effects of war and conflict than ever before in history.
"There is a deplorable trend towards the organized humiliation of women, including the crime of mass rape", the Secretary-General said. "We will press for international legal action against those who perpetrate organized violence against women in time of conflict."
A preliminary report in 1994 by the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, focused on three areas of concern where women are particularly vulnerable: in the family (including domestic violence, traditional practices, infanticide); in the community (including rape, sexual assault, commercialized violence such as trafficking in women, labour exploitation, female migrant workers etc.); and by the State (including violence against women in detention as well as violence against women in situations of armed conflict and against refugee women).
In the Platform for Action adopted at the Beijing Conference, violence against women and the human rights of women are 2 of the 12 critical areas of concern identified as the main obstacles to the advancement of women.
For more info http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm
Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information DPI/1772/HR--February 1996
Battering defined by the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
The abuserís physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks.
Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity.
The abuserís psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.