Domestic Violence is defined differently in the different state constitutions of the US. According to Washington State Law, domestic violence is physical harm, bodily injury, assault, the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, sexual assault, or stalking. The UK Law defines Domestic Violence as “Any incident of threatening behavior, violence, or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality” The UNICEF accepts Domestic Violence as violence perpetrated by intimate partners and other family members and manifested through physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse.
Domestic violence is often viewed as a menace that haunts developing nations or as a regional concern. It is also popularly thought of as a feminist issue. We at MapsofWorld set out examine the statistics that will help verify or reject these claims.
Domestic Violence in the US
The National Network to End Domestic Violence, in a 24-hour survey discovered that over 23,000 calls were placed to domestic violence crisis hotlines and over 65,300 victims were assisted each day in the US. A slow, recessive economy causes a sharp increase in domestic violence. Domestic conflict seems to have increased 40% between 2010 and the first quarter of 2012.
The three Violence Against Women Acts of 1994, 2000, and 2005, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984, and the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban of 1996 have been very successful in curbing the domestic and family violence rates in the country but the elimination of domestic abuse is still a far cry.
Honor killing is the murder of a member of the family or social group based on the belief that the victim caused dishonor to the family or group. While incidences of honor killings are frequent in the Middle East and in South Asia, it is certainly not unknown in other parts of the world. It is estimated that about 20,000 women lose their lives each year in South Asia and the Middle East in cases of honor killing and most of these are perpetrated by the victim’s family members. The reasons may vary from homosexuality to refusal to enter into an arranged marriage and from committing adultery or revenge to even wanting to pursue education.
The gruesome topic of Honor Killings has been the subject of many books including - Honor Killing by David E. Stannard; Murder in the Name of Honor by Rana Husseini; Honor Killing by Kenneth R Timmerman; In The Name of Honor by Mukhtar Mai; Burned Alive by Souad; Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed by Ayse Onal and Joan Smith; Price of Honor by Jan Goodwin; Unto the Daughters by Karen Tintori; Honor Killing by Raghbir Dhillon and Mina Manzini; and Honor by Freddie Omm. The books explore honor killings and family violence across the globe.
Traditionally, it has been believed that men are the perpetrators of domestic violence and women have often been considered the victims. In recent years, studies reveal that many men are victims of domestic abuse. Mankind, the UK agency providing support for male victims of domestic violence claims that about one in six men in the UK face domestic abuse in the course of their lifetime. The Australian agency supporting male victims, One In Three, claims that about 33% of the domestic violence and abuse victims in the country are men. About 29.8% of the victims of current partner abuse are men.
In countries like India, while much has been done to protect women against domestic and social violence, scanty little support is provided to male victims of domestic and family violence. In recent times, though, organizations such as All India Men’s Welfare Association, Save Indian Family Foundation, and Men’s Rights Association, have been lobbying for gender neutrality in the country.
In the US, a survey by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010 contradicted all previous notions about domestic violence and claimed that upto 40% victims of domestic physical violence are men. On an average about 24% of the victims of intimate partner violence homicides are men. A number of organizations in the country, such as Fathers for Equal Rights, National Coalition for Men, and National Center for Men have been supporting men in fending off domestic abuse, alimony rackets, and in preserving their rights. Across the world, there are far fewer shelter homes, helplines and support services for men than for women. For a number of reasons, men are also less likely to report or admit to being the victims of domestic violence.
Is Domestic Violence Global?
The Purple Ribbon
While most countries have governmental support services to help domestic violence victims, most countries also have a number of non-profit organizations working to provide relief. Here are some of the organizations that work towards the prevention of domestic violence and to provide support to the victims.
Global Gender Gap Index
While acknowledging that the male victims of domestic violence are in need of the same protection as female victims, it is important to emphasize that about 85% victims of domestic violence are women. To examine the top 20 countries for women to live in, we took a look at the Global Gender Gap Index of 2011. In the report the World Economic Forum ranked 135 countries of the world by measuring the gap between men and women based on - Economic Participation and Opportunity; Educational Attainment; Health and Survival; and Political Empowerment. The top rated countries were those which had successfully closed or narrowed the gap.
|United Nations||United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women|
|United States||National Coalition Against Domestic Violence|
|National Organization for Women|
|National Network To End Domestic Violence|
|Stop Family Violence|
|Men Stopping Violence|
|National Domestic Violence Helpline - 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)|
|National Center For Domestic Violence|
|Crime Reduction Initiatives|
|National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247|
|India||Women Welfare Association of India (WWAI)|
|Woman’s Emancipation and Development Trust (WEDT)|
|Affus Woman Welfare Association (AWWA)|
|Social Welfare Association for Men (SWAM)|
|Jagori Helpline - 011 2669 2700|
|Domestic Violence Support South Africa|
|National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0800 055 555|
|Australia||Domestic Violence Resource Center Victoria|
|Victims of Crime Support Center, NSW|
|Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Center|
|Domestic Violence Crisis Service, TAS|
|Domestic Violence Outreach Service, SA|
|National Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 737 732|
|Brazilian Alliance Hotline 415 306 6174|
Global Gender Gap Index of 2011 Ranks –
|6||New Zealand||16||United Kingdom|
|7||Denmark||17||United States of America|
Bottom 10 countries in terms of Gender Gap –
While Gender Gap is not an indicator of domestic violence, closing the divide between the genders has been a positive factor in the prevention and reduction of domestic and family violence.
Influence in Cinema
A number of movies have been made centered on the theme of domestic violence. Some of the better known movies include - Provoked: A True Story (2007); Sleeping With The Enemy (1991); North Country (2005); Te doy mis ojos (2003); What's Love Got to do With It? (1993); Dead By Sunset (1995); and When No One Would Listen (1992)