Divorced Women More Likely to Report Abuse

Women who are sexually abused or otherwise harmed by their hus­bands or ex-husbands are more likely to report such violence to authorities when they are separated or divorced, a new governmental study has found.

Researchers examined data collected from Cambodia Demographic and Health Surveys from 2000, 2005 and 2014, and last year’s World Health Organization national survey on women’s health and life experiences, to identify violence trends and compare study results.

Their report shows more than 30 percent of women aged 15 to 64 were victims of physical, sexual or other forms of violence committed by intimate partners during their lifetimes.

Separated or divorced women were more likely to report violence, though it was unclear how much spousal violence had contributed to their separations in the first place, researchers said.

The findings raised the possibility “that either the violence experience was a reason for leaving their intimate partner or that the women felt more free to be able to talk about the violence experienced as a result of their partner no longer being a feature of their life,” the study says.

Economic dependence and fear of social stigma also contributed to women’s reluctance to report abuse, gender experts have said.

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