Local Authorities and Police Views on Cultural Influences on Men

ƒƒ 63% of local officials were inclined to cite the lack of law enforcement as influential on men’s attitudes towards women, as compared to 58% of the general population, which represents a rise in this category of 6% since 2005. ƒƒ Local officials were also more likely to cite the influences of family (32%) and Khmer tradition (22%) over the general population (14 and 15% in these categories). However, there has been a 13% drop in local officials citing Khmer tradition, a 9% drop in citing parents and grandparents, a 10% drop for male relatives, and a 6% drop in citing education as influential factors on male behaviour.
Is men’s behaviour towards women influenced by the following?
Ba se lin e S u rve y
0% Khmer tradition Parents and grandparents, other relatives Circle of male friends 31% 36% 26% 20% 61% 41% 69% 63% 20% 40% 35% 22% 41% 32% 71% 61%

Local Authorities and Police Views of Legal Status of Domestic Violence
ƒƒ More than 50% of the local authorities and police said they know that physical violence is illegal, whereas 80% of the general population indicated knowing that physical violence is illegal. ƒƒ 96-100% of the general sample know that the most extreme forms of violence are illegal (same as 2005), but only 70-100% of different categories of local officials agreed. In 2005, 78-90% of different local officials knew extreme violence was illegal.

ƒƒ 18% of respondents report that men have more rights than others. When asked whether men are entitled to different rights than women, 15% of men said yes, more than twice as many as in 2005 (7%). 20% of women said yes in both 2005 and 2009, showing the perception among women did not change.
Are men entitled to different rights than women?
18% 20% 15% 1 7% 20% 12%

Domestic Violence in Cambodia: What has changed between 2005 and 2009?

This leaflet illustrates important changes regarding



Female Urban

<20 $


Rights Identified as Important to Cambodian Citizens, Knowledge of Domestic Violence Law
ƒƒ 96% of male respondents consider the domestic violence law very helpful/helpful; 98% of women agree.

F o llo w Up S u rve y
60% 80%

Do you think that for the victims of domestic violence this law is ______?
M a le F e m a le <2 0 $ >2 0 0 $

ƒƒ Both men and women believe men have more right to be the main decision makers in their family and participate in ideas in the family than women. These more similar response percentages differ greatly from response categories in 2005, where nearly three times as many women as men gave men more rights than women. Thus, there is a dramatic shift in women’s willingness to be assigned lesser rights than men.
What rights are these? (e.g. specifically, what rights are men more entitled to than women?)
M a le 40% 40% 35% 27% 25% 19% 40% F e m a le

attitudes and prevalence of domestic violence in Cambodia between the years 2005 and 2009. In 2005, the Royal Government of Cambodia adopted the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Protection of the Victims (domestic violence law). In the same year, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, with the support of its development partners, conducted a baseline survey on violence against women.1 A 2009 follow-up survey was then conducted to inform on relevant changes in behavior and attitudes related to violence against women, particularly domestic violence.2 The key findings, positive changes, and concerning developments are summarized here, following the structure of the survey report.



74% 66%


Experience of Domestic Violence
ƒƒ In all categories of abuse reported by victims, overall levels of abuse by partners have decreased from 2005 levels (11-96%) down to 5-89% in 2009. ƒƒ According to the 2005 Baseline survey, 64% of the respondents knew a husband who physically abuses his wife. In 2009, this has decreased to 53%.
Do you know a husband who does any of the following to his wife?
Ba se lin e S u rve y F o llo w Up S u rve y


Bosses, patrons etc

40% 24% 20% 16% 28% 20%

Education (school) Media (television, radio, newspapers) Authorities, lack of law enforcement in Cambodia


1% 1% 3% 1% 0% 0% 3% 0%


Men possible Men entitled Men can particiMen entitled go far a way pates provide to bemain to bea head from home decision maker ideas in the family of family than women


Very Helpful




Perceptions about Inequality Local Authorities and Police Views on Seeking Help
ƒƒ 52-84% of local authorities and police proposed that a person could turn to the police for help, a slight increase compared to 2005 (54-77%). ƒƒ 90%-100% of all authorities selected “seeking help from communal or village authorities” as the best response in times of crisis, another remarkable increase from 2005 (75-90%). ƒƒ 95% of men and 91% of women knew that Cambodia has a law against domestic violence. However, only 76% of poorer respondents (under $20 monthly income) were aware of such a law, while 96% of higher earners (over $200 monthly income) indicated knowledge of this law.
Does Cambodia have a law against domestic violence? (Please note this question was not asked in 2005)
M a le F e m a le <2 0 $ >2 0 0 $

96% 89%

Supported by:

93% 85%










21% 12% 9% 6% 11% 5%

oc th kin e go he n ad et c Ti e up an d hi te tc Th r wi eat th en a ing kn ife et c Bu r n or in ch g ok in g



Cu rs i

ro w

120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Y es 95% 91% 76%







Violence Against Women, A Base Line Survey (2005), sponsored by GTZ Promoting Women’s Rights Project (PWR), EWMI Human Rights in Cambodia Project (HRCP) and UNIFEM CEDAW South East Asia Programme. 2 Final Study Report,Violence Against Women: Follow-Up Survey (2009), sponsored by GTZ Promoting Women’s Rights Project (PWR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under the Partnership for Gender Equity (UNDP/ MoWA/PGE), UNIFEM and AusAID.




ro wi ac ng id et c










2% 3% 12% 13% 6% NGOs/agencies that offer counselling and support Legal aid 20% 0% 20% 0% 10% 0% 10% 0% 1% 1% 0% 5% 11% 0% 4% 1% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% Once a week 0% 3% 0% 0% 8% NGOs/agencies that offer shelter 2% 2% Court 0% 0% Twice a week No. even of the life-threatening type. ƒƒ Women are most likely to go to communal authorities or village elders if they tell about their abuse (14%). Only 8-9% cited the courts. Only 4% of women reported going to courts or police. Which of the following acts is a crime? Is it ever acceptable for a man to do this to his wife? Acce p ta b le -Ba se lin e 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Acce p ta b le -F o llo w u p Ille g a l-Ba se lin e Ille g a l-F o llo w u p Did any of the following things ever happen to you? Men 19% 12% 3% 0% 20% 19% 11% 0% 0% 12% 14% Lost income 10% Women < 20$ > 200$ Total Controlling Behaviour ƒƒ 32% of men feel it is rather justified to know where their wife is at all times. do not obey him. not obeying. or throwing acid. or do not show respect. disrespectful. threatening with knife or machete. all types of lesser abuses appear to be a frequent and consistent experience for spouses. In your commune/village. This is a slight decrease from 2005. never Occasionally Every Every day or so other day Lawyer . Has your spouse ever done any of the following to you? Does your spouse drink beer or wine or spirits? 100% 80% 60% 40% 60% 50% 29% 30% 27% 18% 15% 19% 59% 47% Cursing etc 12% Throwing etc Knocking on the head etc Tie up and hit etc Threatening with a knife etc Burning or choking Throwing acid etc 70% 77% 93% 94% 88% 42% 57% 46% 30% 20% 10% 0% Very justified Rather justified Rather unjustified Very unjustified 36% 37% 24% 13% 10% 28% 9% 23% Cursing etc Throwing etc Knocking on Tie up and Threatening hit etc with a knife the head etc etc Burning or Throwing acid choking etc ƒƒ More than 50% of all respondents felt that a wife behaving in an argumentative. stabbing. with 81% of women preferring to keep quiet in 2009. ƒƒ For individuals living with more frequent drinkers. No substantial differences emerged in reporting between 2005 and 2009. followed by telling friends or relatives (11%). which of the following services are available? 84% Yelling 20% 0% Male 40% 60% Female 2005 2009 40% 20% 20% 0% 20% 0% Communal authorities 100% 100% 97% 96% 17% 13% 14% 15% 14% 12% 9% 8% 7% 7% Local Authorities and Police Attitudes about Domestic Violence ƒƒ In comparison to 2005. This demonstrates that men feel knowing their wife’s whereabouts at all times is an increasingly justifiable activity. or disobedient manner warranted a violent response by her husband. This is nearly the same as in 2005. Did you do anything to stop this behaviour (with regard to verbal or physical abuse by a spouse)? 20% 15% Missed days at work/unable to go to work 93% 80% 77% 74% 95% 86% 85% 69% 66% 40% 18% 97% 88% 99% 97% 99% 98% The Role of Alcohol in Domestic Violence ƒƒ When questions related to frequency of abusive behaviours were matched across reports of spousal drinking. a large increase from 15% in 2005. fewer people find violence acceptable and more people are increasingly recognizing that violent acts are illegal. ƒƒ 16-22% of respondents think a husband is justified in using extreme violence against his wife if she questions him about spending money or visiting girlfriends/sex workers. Do you think a husband is justified in knowing where his wife is at all times? 2005 2009 50% 40% The Respondents’ Own Experience in Seeking Help ƒƒ Keeping quiet and doing nothing was by far the most common response to physical abuse by a spouse and is increasingly the preferred response to abuse. 12-18% of respondents reported throwing occurring at least once a week (an increase of 6-12% from 2005 data). burning or choking. or not showing respect. 35-45% of local authorities (LA’s) felt that a husband was justified in engaging in the most extreme types of violence (tying up and hitting. 100% 80% 4% 5% 12% Police Economic Impacts ƒƒ The most common economic impact of violence by a spouse is missed work or lost income. compared to only 62% in 2005. or shooting) if wives argue with husbands. 8-11% of respondents reported being threatened with a knife at least once in a week period (a 7-10% increase from 2005). while tying up and beating occurred once a week for 4-5% of respondents (this represents a 3-4% increase from 2005). Is a husband justified in doing the following to his wife when she questions him about girlfriends/going to sex workers? 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Tie up and hit Threaten with knife Burn or choke Throw acid Available Options for Seeking Help for Domestic Violence and Rape ƒƒ Over 96% of respondents identify local authorities or the police as readily available resources in case of crisis (compared to over 90% in 2005) ƒƒ 15% of respondents reported NGOs and agencies offering counselling as options for support. compared to 2005. when 20-36% found it acceptable. an increase of 7% since 2005. when courts were perceived as accessible by 9-10% of respondents.Attitudes about Domestic Violence ƒƒ Overall. the greatest shifts in perception have occurred regarding what local authorities feel is acceptable behaviour in response to women arguing with husbands. ƒƒ In 2009. This is nearly half the number of respondents who found it justifiable in 2005 (66-73%). with 14-15% of all respondents reporting such losses.