Friday, July 12, 2019

Nature and scale of intimate partner violence as the most common form of violence against women


Increased focus on the implementation of existing legislation and prevention and protection measures is required. To effectively respond, institutions must treat intimate partner violence as a public, rather than private, matter and take psychological violence seriously. The more severe nature of violence at the hands of previous partners and the fact that women continue to experience violence at the hands of their former partners even after the relationship has ended suggest a need for better protection of victims.
 Of women who are or have been in a relationship, 23% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and 7% indicate that this occurred in the 12 months prior to the survey. Among those women aged 18–49 who have ever had a partner, 8% say they experienced intimate physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey
 Of women (aged 18–74) who are or have been in a relationship, 20% were subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or previous intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey (SDG Indicator 5.2.1) ç
 Among those women who have ever had a partner and who indicate that they have experienced physical violence, two-thirds say that they have experienced two of more different forms of physical violence, including 32% who say they have experienced four or more.
 For many women who have experienced various forms of intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence, these are not isolated experiences. For sexual violence and most types of physical violence, including those that might be considered more serious, more than half of those who have had such an experience say this has happened more than once.
  Violence in relationships happens on a continuum. Rather than being an isolated incident, it tends to happen more than once over a period of time. Of those women who say they experienced the first incident of physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of their current partner five or more years ago, 22% experienced the most recent incident in the 12 months prior to the survey.
 Of women and girls who had a previous partner, 25% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a previous partner. Three-quarters of those who identified a most serious incident of violence at the hands of their previous partner say that the violence experienced was one of the reasons, if not the main reason, why the relationship ended.

Psychological violence is the most widespread form of intimate partner violence reported in the survey. The qualitative research confirms that psychological violence is considered so common in the area covered by the survey that it is a norm. Multiple and repetitive forms of psychological violence need to be recognized as undermining women’s autonomy and wellbeing, and police and other services should be trained to recognize and understand the nature and impact of psychological violence.
 Sixty per cent of women who are or have been in a relationship have experienced psychological violence committed by an intimate partner.
 Overall, 48% of women who have ever had a partner have experienced controlling behaviours on the part of a current or previous partner, with partners insisting on knowing where they were going (beyond general concern) or becoming suspicious that they had been unfaithful the most common of these behaviours (each experienced by 31%).
 Around two in five women have experienced abusive behaviours. This includes over one-third of respondents who say they have been belittled or humiliated in private (36%) and around one in five women who indicate that their partners have scared them on purpose (23%) or belittled or humiliated them in public (21%).
 Economic violence has been experienced by nearly one in five women (19%).
 Seven per cent of women have experienced blackmail involving their children, which includes actions such as threatening to take their children away, threatening to hurt their children, hurting their children or making threats concerning the custody of their children (previous partner only).

Sexual violence in relationships including marital rape41 is a reality in the surveyed area. Four per cent of women, or approximately 810,000 women, say they have been raped by their partners. This suggests that laws and the implementation thereof should treat rape within marriage the same as rape by a non-partner.
 The overall lifetime prevalence of intimate partner sexual violence is 7%, including 4% of women who have been raped by their partner.   In the qualitative research, women discussed how sex within marriage was often expected, and indeed the survey data shows that a significant minority believe that non-consensual sex between partners can be justified (17%), which may indicate that many women do not disclose when this form of violence happens.

The characteristics and behaviour of perpetrators also need to be taken into consideration as possible risk factors contributing to intimate partner violence. If practitioners recognize these factors, they can be alerted to them as a possible  warning sign of violence.
 Women whose current partner drinks on a weekly (19%) or daily basis (37%) are more likely to have experienced intimate partner violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (compared to 5% of those whose partner rarely drinks). Indeed, 67% of current partners and 71% of previous partners were drunk and/or under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident reported as the most serious.
 Women whose current partner is not working, whether due to unemployment (17%), because of illness or disability (35%), or retirement (17%), are more likely to have experienced intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime compared with 14% of all surveyed women in a current relationship. The same holds true for the prevalence in the 12 months prior to the survey.  Women whose current partner has fought in an armed conflict are more likely to experience physical and sexual violence at the hands of their current intimate partner both in their lifetime (19% versus 14% respectively) and in the 12 months prior to the survey (9% versus 6% respectively) compared with those whose partners have not fought in an armed conflict.

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413237?download=true

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