This report talks about how intimate partner violence (IPV) must bemore heard of in communities so people could find ways to help the abusedpeople. There are different forms of IPV that could take place either one ormore than one at the same time.
And since IPV carry many consequences, peoplemust raise awareness about such topic. With all the digital advances we have,such thing is easy to get viral and make people know about it. Also,governments must help the abused partner for defending themselves rather thanthrowing them in jail.
And by letting others know, the abused partner would beencouraged to ask for help, the government would realize that it’s a seriousissue that must be controlled, non-profit organizations can help those who escapesuch a relation and don’t have anyone to go to, and then the abuser would feelweak because the government would actually punish them and the abused partnerwill have more power to stand against the abuser. There are countlessissues and problems nowadays that people can’t avoid or handle anymore. Butthere are always some steps and points that would minimize any problem.However, some problems are harder to handle than others. Such as intimatepartner violence (IPV), which is a common issue all around the world. It is domesticviolence when a partner abuses the other, includes the forms of physical,sexual, and emotional abuse. And it is more of a form of an attempt to gaincontrol, not losing control as most people might think. In 48 population-basedsurveys from around the world, 10-69% of women reported being physically and/orsexually assaulted by an intimate male partner at some point in their lives.
Physical abuse is any act that causes injures or trauma by a way of bodilycontact. While sexual abuse is undesired sexual behavior by one person uponanother. In Lebanon, domestic violence is a subject that is still taboo inLebanese society. In 2009, however, a photographer and women’s rights activist,Dalia Khamissy produced, with nine other women, an exhibition of photographs,”Behind the Doors: Through the Eyes of Women Survivors of Violence,” which hasserved to highlight the problem in the country.
But this is just a way to shedthe light on the problem so that people would be more aware and try to minimizeit. There are some factorsthat increase the likelihood of committing violence. First, there are theindividual factors. It includes heavy alcohol use.
When a person drinks, hewould lose control of himself and won’t be able to think straight. So, if anysimple misunderstanding takes place, he would burst and would hit his partneror use bad language with her. Also, the desire to be the dominant partner in arelationship. Some men think that they must control the whole relationship andwomen do not have the right to argue them or give their opinion on any decisiontaken.
And having a history of abusive family as a child would play a big role.Some would suffer from a bad relation with their parents because they wouldtake out all the anger inside them on the child. Or, the child would watch his father hitting the mother all thetime and talking to her in a bad way, so he would start to believe that it is anormal thing and he want to become a strong man like his father. Second, thereare community and societal factors.
That includes low social and economicstatus of women. If the woman does not have many friends or social life,doesn’t work, or might got married at a young age, her partner would takeadvantage of such situations because it means she’s weak and has no one to goto. It also includes broad social acceptance of violence as a way to resolveconflicts which makes males feel more powerful and are capable of anything. Insome societies, almost all, gender inequality takes place and a lot believethat men have the right to control which leads to lack of women rights.Finally, there are relationship factors which includes conflict ordissatisfaction in a relationship, economic stress, and sometimes women havinghigher level of education than her partner. All these factors may increase therisk of both victimization of women and perpetration by men.
Violence carries withit many consequences which are injury and physical health, mental health andsuicide, and sexual and reproductive health. Physical damages include bruises,broken bones, sight and hearing damage and many others. From so much beating, awoman can suffer not just from one of these injuries, but 2 or more.
Whereasfor mental health, the abuser would want his partner to feel useless anddeprive her from self-confidence. That’s why a lot of women would suffer fromdepression and anxiety, and would sometimes think about suicide. They wouldfeel so weak and not able to do anything about it so they start to think thatending their life is better than staying in such a relationship. And sexual and reproductive health includingunintended and unwanted pregnancy, abortion (sometimes unsafe abortion), andsexually transmitted infections including HIV.
There are somesituations that makes the abused partner think that they are not in danger orthey are not even being abused at all. For example, if the incidents ofphysical abuse have only occurred once or twice in a relationship doesn’t meanthat they are not being abused. Because if the abuser could do it once, hewould keep repeating the same action over and over again. Also, some womenbelieve that if they just gave up their rights and listened to whatever theabuser wants they would accept their lives and would feel the “victory”. Butthe truth is that they don’t have to give up anything just for not beingabused. Others would even think that if there are no physical abuse then theyare not living in an abusive relationship.
Where in fact, emotional and verbal abusemight cause same harm, or more, as the physical abuse. That’s why people mustbe more aware. Since the first step for preventing violence and getting help isrecognizing the signs of abuse. What we always thinkabout when someone mentions intimae partner violence is that “why don’t womenleave violent partners?”.
“What takes them so long to realize they mustleave?”. Women who experience such thing are the only ones who could answersuch question. Because seeing things from far is so different than being in itand experiencing it. However, most people believe that there are common reasonsthat women do not leave. First, a lack of social support. The abuser mayisolate his partner from her support network including friends and family, soshe would be scared and hesitate to reach out for them or even feel that thereis no one she can trust anymore. Second, limited financial resources. Whichmore than half of women who experience domestic violence fear of not being ableto finance themselves or sometimes partners would have a joint bank account soit’s hard to break free.
Third reason would be minimal work experience. Somewomen decide to be a housewife instead of working or studying, or even notallowed to have a steady job. And it is difficult to find a job that pays wellso she could escape, especially if there’s children. Finally, the fear of being alone.
Some victims believe that no one will accept them anymore, especially becauseof how society thinks, that if a woman got divorced she won’t get married againand that idea would scare her. So, they feel that staying in an abusiverelation better than being left alone. Some victims will reacha point where they start to think of killing their partner rather thanthemselves. In many cases, when the victim finally stands up for herself, itwould be in a very aggressive way which may lead to the death of her abuser.
Inmany cases, the victim will be punished with prison. Because in many countries,police, prosecutors, and judges didn’t take such an issue as a serious one, andthey thought that domestic violence is something personal and that shouldremain a secret inside a house and not spoken in public. That’s why when avictim might kill, they see it as murder and not self-defense. However, there are someways to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence. First of all, empowerwomen socially and economically. Combining microfinance with gender-equality isan effective way to reduce intimate partner violence.
In which women would be empoweredand treated equally as men so men won’t feel that they have more power thanwomen and that they can control them. Second, reform legal frameworks. Thatincludes strengthening women’s civil rights and making the police take thenecessary actions against such violence. Finally, use community mobilizationand behavior change communication. Nowadays, social media is basically ourentire life, so people would raise awareness through ads on television or pageson different applications that posts enough information to encourage people tohelp those who suffer from such issue and to highlight how intimate partnerviolence could be minimized or prevented. Such actions are not always usefulbecause there will always be men who think they control everything andeveryone, or even women, which is rarely happens, to control men. And it’s noteasy to convince people, and it takes a lot of time.
But it’s better than doing nothing andletting all these women and children get abused. People must at least try to understandthat it is so difficult for women to live such a life and that it’s unfair formany. But those who raise awareness and believe that such violence is soharmful and so not okay, must always encourage people to stand against it andremind them about it from time to time so a change would really take place andnot get ignored like many other social issues