Violence against women-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
SINCE March is also dubbed as the national women’s month, allow me to give you a picture of how domestic violence has been going in our country in a sociological level.
Violence, as stated by the World Health Organization, is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.
Intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence, is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by women, according to the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).
The Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 enumerates that there are four types of violence against women: 1) Physical violence -- acts that include bodily or physical harm; 2) Sexual violence -- acts that are sexual in nature which are not limited to rape, harassment and prostitution; 3) Psychological violence -- acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, stalking, ridicule and public humiliation; and 4) Economic abuse -- acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent that includes but not limited to withdrawal of financial support, deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and controlling of the victim’s own money or properties.
For the first time since its creation, the NDHS in 2008 included among its questionnaire topics that encompass specific aspects of violence that address women’s experiences of physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuses upon reaching the age of 15 years.
Furthermore, its data reveal that among the Filipino women who had ever experienced any forms of domestic violence, a strong association is suggested that such experiences have contributed much to the separation of women from their partners.
The 2008 NDHS maintains that the social and economic background of a woman has a bearing on her chances of experiencing domestic violence.
In terms of physical violence, the 2008 NDHS claims that the highest percentage of incidence is seen among Filipino women aged 40 to 49 with 22 percent or 2,004 reported cases.
In terms of sexual violence, its data suggest that women who are employed but not paid in cash, those who are divorced, separated or widowed, and those who live in rural areas are more likely than other women to have experienced sexual violence.
In terms of marital violence or the violence perpetuated by partners in marital union, the 2008 NDHS maintains that 14 percent of women in the country have ever experienced physical violence at the hands of their husbands; eight percent have ever experienced sexual violence; and 23 percent have experienced other forms of violence.
Among the spousal acts of physical violence, its data point out that the most commonly reported act is being slapped and then followed by being pushed, shaken or thrown something at.
In Region X alone, the 2008 NDHS states that at the time of survey: 1) 28 percent or 113 women out of 405 respondents have ever experienced physical gender-based violence; 2) four percent or 16 women have experienced violence during pregnancy; 3) 12 percent or 49 women have ever experienced sexual violence; and 4) 14 percent or 42 respondents and 10 percent or 30 respondents have ever experienced spousal violence, respectively.
Meanwhile, the 1997 Unicef Progress of Nations Report claims that 60 million women would have been alive at present time globally had it not been for gender-based violence.
Lastly, the World Health Organization report in 2004 suggests that one in every four women has experienced sexual violence from an intimate partner.
After knowing all these alarming statistics, violence against women is clearly a public health concern.
(Comments may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at polo_socio)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 05, 2013.