Report: Abuse Often Blamed on Female Victims

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.

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