Major Problems with Domestic Violence Worldview

To begin there are many countries that do not outlaw domestic violence.  Women and children are viewed as property and fall at the mercy of the male leader in the family.  In Pakistan there is absolutely no recourse for violence against women.  Due to a lack in governmental support for women’s rights and an extreme amount of poverty and illiteracy the issue continues to get worse for Pakistani women.  Another issue that provokes abuse is patriarchal in the Islamic society.  In this culture men have the right to beat their wives. (Global Health Action, 2011)  Domestic abuse is considered an intimate issue, which the family leader should handle as he sees fit.  Women report being psychologically and sexually abused by partners, in-laws, parents, and other male figures of the family, and there is no consequence laid out for the abuser.  The report is made and quickly swept under the rug and no investigation is made.  In Pakistan it is also culturally accepted to perform dowry deaths and bride burning.   Even though it is culturally accepted to perform such acts the United Nations now views these traditions as a form of domestic violence.   “Violence against women in this country takes on an added twist because of the “dowry death” a form of intimate partner violence practiced due to an inadequate dowry.” (Gosselin, 2010 pg.11) Statistics show that four women are murdered in the act of a bride burning or stove death each day in Pakistan.    “Either Pakistan is home to possessed stoves which burn only young housewives, and are particularly fond of genitalia, or looking at the frequency with which these incidences occur there is a grim pattern that these women are victims of deliberate murder.”  (Terzieff, 2002 pg. 188) Our American culture views these murders as a criminal offense, punishable by death penalty.  Since the civil right’s movement women have full equality and civil rights. 

Lebanon just passed the country’s first law on domestic violence.  Lebanon’s law on domestic violence finally recognizes that abused women are in need of protection and legal recourse.  However, recognizing abuse towards women is still a fresh idea and the law has serious flaws and there is much concern that rests among the people.   “The parliament should consider amendments to fully protect women from domestic violence.” (Begum, 2014)  It will take time before this country evolves to a full score of equality for all, as displayed here in America.  For many years the women of Lebanon had no civil rights under the law.  Neither the Government nor the law considered violence against women a domestic issue and was regulated by religious culture.  Due to religious law and cultural beliefs women were subject to sexual and physical violence.  It has been reported that one woman per month is murdered by a family member.  Although, this country has finally recognized domestic abuse as a crime against women, the new law is under much debate.  The law does not view marital rape as a crime and supporters are pushing for the law to be amended.  Here in America, we do view marital rape as a crime against partner; however, it very hard to prove in a court of law due to the intimate nature of the crime. 

Women in Kenya still struggle over their civil rights and equality.  Women report sexual and physical abuse on a daily basis and yet culturally these acts are socially accepted.  According to the Kenya Demographic and Health survey 39 percent of the women surveyed said they were abused by a husband or partner.  In a report  from 2008 written by the Federation of women Lawyers of Kenya, or FIDA, says “almost 75 percent of women they surveyed reported being beaten.” (Chebogut and Ngeno, 2010)  However, there is a stigma that engulfs the women and backs them into a wall to avoid dishonoring of the family name.   Women in Kenya fail to report domestic abuse to avoid the stigma.  “Stigma is such a big issue in many cultures. Women and girls blame themselves and fear that they will be ostracized from society if they admit to being raped, and they often are outcasts if they do so.” (Njogu, 2014 pg.32) Another issue in Kenya that women fall victim to is proving rape within marriage.  Again, here in America we have the same problem.  In order to prove rape the victim must show signs of struggle and markings to prove rape because of the intimacy level shared in marriage.  In a case in Central Kenya where a man faced acquisitions of defiling a young girl on church grounds, authorities dropped the investigation reporting, “married man with children and, therefore, incapable of committing such an offense”. (Njogu, 2014 pg. 32)   In the state of Florida, USA it is a crime to have sex with a child younger than the age of 18.  To have sexual contact or intercourse with a minor younger than the age of 12 is considered a first degree felony and is punishable with at least 25 years in prison.  Offenders must also register as a sex offender in a national database that is available to the public. 

In chapter one of our text the author shares with us how children are forced into marriages and sexual abused and women are raped and murdered by their husbands.  (Gosselin, 2010) In more current news Isis is raping Christian women before they are murdered for choosing to worship God.  “Even families that pay the tax, mandated by ISIS for Christians who remain, are now being victimized. The women are allegedly being taken from their husbands and made into “wives” belonging to the ISIS fighters. This means they can rape them and even kill them, if they do not subsequently agree to convert to Islam.”  (Catholic Online, 2014)

The domestic issues of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse that we have read about in this paper exist in the referenced countries due to the lack of respect for equal rights and the overwhelming social approval.  A lack of education for women also creates the acceptance for the abusive husbands and fathers.  In America I believe the problem lies in the intimacy of the issue.  However, domestic violence shares one thing in common with the abusers worldwide; to maintain control and power over the victim.

 

References:

State Laws. (2004, December 15). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/SR/StateLaws/statelaws.shtml#Florida

Kenya: The law and domestic violence. (2012, February 29). Retrieved August 17, 2014, from http://www.makeeverywomancount.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2942:kenya-the-law-and-domestic-violence&catid=37:violence-against-women&Itemid=63

IRIN • humanitarian news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.irinnews.org

Lebanon: Clerics attack domestic violence law | Violence is not our Culture. (2011, June 26). Retrieved August 20, 2014.

Prevalence of Domestic Violence. (2013, August 1). Retrieved August 16, 2014, from http://www.stopvaw.org/prevalence_of_domestic_violence

Domestic Violence: Explore the Issue. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/svaw/domestic/link/statistics.htm

Ali, T., Krantz, G., Gul, R., Asad, N., Johansson, E., & Mogren, I. (2011, November 2). Gender roles and their life prospects for women in urban Karachi, Pakistan; a qualitative study. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208374/

Intimate Partner Violence. (2014, August 8). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/VIOLENCEPREVENTION/intimatepartnerviolence/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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