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Domestic Violence Against Women

Violence against women is a technical term used to collectively refer to
violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Similar
to a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim's
gender as a primary motive. The United Nations General Assembly defines
"violence against women" as "any act of gender-based violence that results in,
or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women,
including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty,
whether occurring in public or in private life." The 1993 Declaration on the
Elimination of Violence Against Women noted that this violence could be
perpetrated by assailants of either gender, family members and even the "State"
itself. Worldwide governments and organizations actively work to combat
violence against women through a variety of programs. A UN resolution
designated November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence
against Women.

History of violence against women:-

Some historians believe that the history of violence against women is tied to the
history of women being viewed as property and a gender role assigned to be
subservient to men and also other women.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993)

states that " violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal
power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over
and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full
advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial
social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position
compared with men.”

In the 1870s courts in the United States stopped recognizing the common-law
principle that a husband had the right to "physically chastise an errant wife".
Type of Domestic Violence against Women

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is usually recurrent and escalates in both frequency and severity.
Although most assaults on women do not result in death, they do result in
physical injury and severe emotional distress. Physical injuries are the most
tangible manifestations of domestic violence, yet they are frequently not
reported by women and go unrecognized by the professionals who are mandated
to intervene.

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse of women is underestimated, trivialized, and at times

difficult to define. Psychological abuse has been reported by abused women to
be as damaging as physical battering because of its impact on the self-image of
the victim. It often precedes or accompanies physical abuse, but it may occur by

Sexual assault

Sexual assault consists of a range of behaviors that may include pressured sex
when the victim does not desire sex, coerced sex by manipulation or threat,
physically forced sex, or sexual assault accompanied by violence. Victims may
be forced or coerced to perform a type of sex they do not desire, or at a time
they do not want it. For some battered victims this sexual violation is profound
and difficult to discuss.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse represents a method of control that may consist of verbal

attacks and humiliations, including repeated verbal attacks against the victim's
worth as an individual or role as a parent, family member, co-worker, friend, or
community member. The verbal attacks often emphasize the victim's

Isolation occurs

Isolation occurs when perpetrators try to control victims' time, activities, and
contact with others. Perpetrators may accomplish this through interfering with
supportive relationships, creating barriers to normal activities, such as taking
away the car keys or locking the victim in the home, and lying or distorting
what is real to gain psychological control.

Economic abuse

Economic abuse is when perpetrators control access to the all of the victims'
resources, such as time, transportation, food, clothing, shelter, insurance, and
money. He may interfere with her ability to become self-sufficient, and insist
that he control all of the finances. When the victim leaves the violent
relationship, the perpetrator may use economics as a way to maintain control or
force her to return.

State violence:-War and militarism

Militarism produces special environments that allow for increased violence

against women. For example, during World War II, the Japanese military
established brothels for soldiers, exploiting women for the purpose of creating
access and entitlement for men (see Comfort women). Another example of
violence against women incited by militarism during war took place in the
Kovno Ghetto. Jewish male prisoners had access to (and used) Jewish women
forced into camp brothels by the Nazis, who also used them. The 1998 United
Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda recognized rape as a war
Violence in empowerment systems

It is standard procedure for police to force entry into the victim's home even
after the victim's numerous requests for them to go away.Government agencies
often disregard the victim's right to freedom of association with their
perpetrator.Shelter workers are often reduced themselves to contributing to
violence against women by exploiting their vulnerability in exchange for a
paying job.


Many activists believe that working towards the elimination of domestic

violence means working to eliminate a societal hierarchy enforced through
sexism. INCITE! Women of Colour against Violence cited racism within the
anti-violence movement and suggest that violence against women will not end
until the anti-violence movement re-directs its goal from "ending violence
“against women" to "ending violence against women of color."The same
conclusion can be drawn for other systems of oppression.

Domestic violence
Women are more likely to be victimized by someone that they are intimate with,
commonly called "Intimate Partner Violence" or (IPV). The impact of domestic
violence in the sphere of total violence against women can be understood
through the example that 40-90% of murders of women are committed by their
husband or boyfriend. Studies have shown that violence is not always
perpetrated as a form of physical violence but can also be psychological and
verbal. In unmarried relationships this is commonly called dating violence,
whereas in the context of marriage it is called domestic violence. Instances of
IPV tend not to be reported to police and thus many experts believe that the true
magnitude of the problem is hard to estimate. In the US, in 2005, 1181 women,
in comparison with 329 men, were killed by their intimate partners.

Though this form of violence is often portrayed as an issue within the context of
heterosexual relationships, it also occurs in lesbian relationships, daughter-
mother relationships, roommate relationships and other domestic relationships
involving two women. Violence against women in lesbian relationships is about
as common as violence heterosexual relationships.
Impact on society:-

The World Health Organization reports that violence against women puts an
undue burden on health care services with women who have suffered violence
being more likely to need health services and at higher cost, compared to
women who have not suffered violence. Several studies have shown a link
between poor treatment of women and international violence. These studies
show that one of the best predictors of inters- and international violence is the
maltreatment of women in the society.

The impact of violence

Experiencing violence can greatly impact how you feel about yourself, relation-
ships, and the world around you. It can affect your physical and mental health.
And it can change your behavior and daily life. No one has the right to hurt you
or make you feel afraid. Do not let feelings of fear, shame, or guilt stop you
from seeking help? You are not at fault, and you do not need to hide what has
happened. Many people and groups are willing to help you.

Forms of Violence

Many terms are used to describe violence-

• Homicide, femicide • Dating violence, dating abuse,

• Intimate partner violence • Domestic violence

• Indecent exposure • Spouse or partner abuse

• Voyeurism • Wife beating

• Stalking • Rape, marital rape, date rape

• Harassment • Family violence

• Human trafficking

• Sexual abuse, sexual violence, sexual

• Genital mutilation assault • Exploitation

• Molestation • Forced prostitution

• Beating, battering • Forced pornography

The Signs of Domestic Violence Against women

Domestic Violence is when one person purposely causes either physical or non-
physical harm to another. Usually the violent person is a husband, former
husband, boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, but sometimes the abuser is female. About
20% of all the women in this country have been involved with abusive partners
at some point in their lives. It is a very common problem and should be taken
very seriously. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

• Have you ever been physically hurt, such as being kicked, pushed or
punched, by your partner or ex-partner?

• Has your partner ever used the threat of hurting you to get you to do

• Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your family, going to
school, or doing other things that are important to you?

• Do you feel like you are being controlled or isolated by your partner?

• Have you ever been forced by your partner to have sex when you did not
want to?

• Has your partner ever insisted on having unsafe sex?

• Is your partner very jealous and always questioning whether you are

• Does your partner regularly blame you for things that you could not
control or insult you?

• Are you ever afraid of your partner or of going home? Does he/she make
you feel unsafe?
Other signs of Domestic Violence that observers might see in a relative or

• Being prone to accidents

• Injuries that could not be caused by accident, or do not match the story of
what happened to cause them.

• Injuries on many different areas of the body, especially areas that are less
likely to get hurt, such as the face, throat, neck, chest, abdomen, or

• Many injuries that happened at different times.

• Bruises, burns, or wounds that are shaped like objects such as teeth,
hands, belts, a cigarette tip, or look like the injured person has a glove or
sock on (from having a hand or foot place in boiling water).

• Seeking medical help a lot.

• Waiting to or not seeking medical help for serious injuries.

• Depression

• Use of alcohol or drugs

• Suicide attempts

Common forms of violence

Although women often fear being at-tacked or hurt by a stranger, they are at
greatest risk of violence from people they know:

• About 25 to 30 percent of women are physically or sexually abused by a

romantic partner

• One in 6 women reports being raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

And nearly 70 percent are attacked
Signs of a healthy relationship Signs of an unhealthy relationship

• Respect for each other • Disrespect

• Honesty • Blaming and lying
• Trust and support • Mistrust and jealousy
• Able to compromise • Put-downs, insults, name calling
• Shared decision making • One partner controls decision making
• You are able to be yourself • “Need” to be with partner; cannot be
• Time spent together and apart • Good without the other
communication • Fear of partner’s temper or actions
• Peaceful solutions to conflict • Partner pressures or forces other to be
• Anger control sexual
• Self-confidence and happiness • Fights get out of control
• Feeling safe with partner, even when • Feeling worthless or bad about yourself
he or she is upset • Feeling unsafe with your partner

Domestic Violence Against Women In Pakistan

Aurat Foundation launched its annual report of 2008 on the Situation of
Violence against Women in Pakistan ”at Islamabad Press Club, in a Press
Conference. The report is a collection and compilation of statistics on the
incidents of violence against women during January to December 2008 under its
national programme Policy and Data Monitor on Violence against Women’ for
the elimination of violence against women in Pakistan.

Violence against women is becoming an alarming phenomenon worldwide

affecting the dignity of millions of women. Violence against women as a cause
and effect phenomenon is a major source of inequality, discrimination,
stigmatization and conflict in private and public domain. Increasingly, it is
becoming a central human right issue. The current statistics on violence against
women is only the tip of the iceberg, as majority of cases being reported and
covered by this report represent the physical nature of violence. Since the
overwhelming prevalence of violence in the domestic domain is not reflected in
the available data.

Statistics of Violence Against Women in Pakistan

The report Situation of Violence against Women in Pakistan aims to identify the
number of cases of violence against women in Pakistan thus it aims to create a
more informed and supportive environment, mobilize social pressure. This data
of violence against women would in the long run provide policy and law reform
input to federal and provincial governments, political parties and legislators
through consultative processes on developing policy framework and
institutional mechanisms for ending violence against women.

A total of 7733 cases were reported in the print media all over Pakistan during
the year 2008. Out of these 7733 cases (4360 cases reported in Punjab; 1385 in
Sindh; 1013 in NWFP; 763 in Balochistan and 212 in Islamabad). Almost all
these cases are reported cases. Among them, 5686 cases i.e.73.53% were
registered with police, 1476 i.e. 19.09% cases were not registered and there is
no evidence found in media regarding the FIR status of remaining 571 i.e.7.38%

Out of the total of 7733 cases of violence against women:

• 1762 cases of abduction:

(1403 in Punjab; 160 in Sindh; 71 in NWFP; 52 in Balochistan; 76 in


• 1516 cases of murder:

(690 in Punjab; 288 in Sindh; 404 in NWFP; 115 in Balochistan; 19 in


• 844 cases of hurt and body injury:

(279 in Punjab; 97 in Sindh; 193 in NWFP; 264 in Balochistan; 11 in


• 579 cases of suicide:

(349 in Punjab; 144 in Sindh; 60 in NWFP; 18 in Balochistan;8 in

• 472 cases of ‘honour’ killings:

(91 in Punjab; 220 in Sindh; 32 in NWFP; 127 in Balochistan; 2 in


• 439 cases of rape:

(316 in Punjab; 80 in Sindh; 28 in NWFP; 10 in Balochistan; 5 in


• 307 cases of gang-rape:

(248 in Punjab; 50 in Sindh; 1 in NWFP; 3 in Balochistan; 5 in


• 320 cases of domestic violence:

(67 in Punjab; 98 in Sindh; 113 in NWFP; 34 in Balochistan; 8 in


• 300 cases of torture :

(273 in Punjab; 3 in NWFP; 8 in Balochistan; 16 in Islamabad);

• 198 cases of attempted suicide:

(105 in Punjab; 34 in Sindh; 6 in NWFP; 52 in Balochistan; 1 in


• 187 cases of sexual assault :

(128 in Punjab; 40 in Sindh; 12 in NWFP; 3 in Balochistan; 4 in


• 123 cases of attempt to murder:

(29 in Punjab; 42 in Sindh; 5 in NWFP; 45 in Balochistan; 2 in


• 117 cases of custodial violence:

(43 in Punjab; 69 in Sindh; 5 in Islamabad);

• 70 cases of threat to violence:

(49 in Punjab; 2 in Sindh; 19 in Islamabad);

• 56 cases of burning:

(31 in Punjab; 11 in Sindh; 1 in NWFP; 12 in Balochistan; I in


• 25 case of Vanni/customary practices :

(15 in Punjab; 7 in Sindh; 3 in NWFP);

• 24 cases of acid throwing:

(19 in Punjab; 3 in Sindh; 2 in Islamabad);

• 394 cases of violence were of miscellaneous nature in the four provinces

and Islamabad.

The percentage of the cases of abduction/kidnapping of women among all these

recorded/reported cases is the highest, i.e. 22.79 %; followed by the murder of
women 19.60%; hurt and body injury 10.91%; suicide 7.49 %; honour killing
6.10%; rape 5.68%; domestic violence 4.14%; gang-rape 3.97%; torture 3.88%;
attempt to suicide 2.56%; sexual assault 2.42%; attempt to murder 1.59%;
custodial violence 1.51%; threat to violence 0.91%; Vanni/customary practices
0.32%; and miscellaneous cases 3.80%.

How a woman should protect herself

To reduce your risk of sexual violence:

• Trust your feelings. If you feel in danger, you probably are and need to
get away.

• Notice what and who is around you. Know where you are going and stay
in well-lit areas. Park your car in well-lit areas.

• After getting in your car, drive away. Do not sit in your car to look at
items you bought or make phone calls.

• If you are in danger, blow a whistle, or yell “FIRE” instead of “help” or

• Never leave a social event with some-one you just met or do not know

• Never walk or jog alone at night or in secluded areas.

• Meet new dates in public places. Be careful when meeting people from
Internet dating sites. Tell a friend where you are going and who you are
going out with.

• Never drink anything that has been out of your sight, or that you did not
see being poured from a new bottle. Date rape drugs are odourless and

Gender Studies


Domestic Violence against Women

Submitted By

Anam Iqbal 1525

Zoya Asghar 1575
Zunaira Zahid 1576
Sarosh Khalil 1563
Bs. hons


Miss Farah