Ministry of Women’s Affairs officials unveiled their most comprehensive report on violence against women this week, which found that attitudes about abuse often apportion blame to the female victims.
The report, unveiled Tuesday, was based on interviews with 3,000 men and women across the country and 300 police and other officials—the largest undertaking of its kind.
According to the report, married women are perceived as belonging to their husbands, young men are just as likely to beat their wives as older men and more than half of those surveyed believe husbands are justified in using violence if their wives show disrespect.
“Progress towards eliminating violence against women and children can only be made with a deep knowledge about the depth and nature of the problem,” Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi said at a conference unveiling the report.
She added that the information would help in implementing the law on domestic violence.
At the conference, US Charge d’Affaires Mark Storella said domestic violence, rape and trafficking were all symptoms of the same problem. “[It’s] people with power hurting people who lack power,” he said.
He added that most women do not know there is a law against domestic violence.