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Domestic Violence

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Samia, 40, is regularly beaten by her husband. Once he threw his shoes straight at her face, for example, because she was slow in serving him his tea at their home in a Madaba village. After a trip to the hospital following yet another incident, her brother took her to the police to file a complaint. She refused to sign the complaint, and a week later was back home. A husband has the right to beat his wife, she says. Besides, she adds, "I have nobody other than him to rely on, and worry about my children." Leaving her husband means losing custody. These days when Samia ventures out, bruises and scars are usually visible.

Domestic violence invaded many of the households in the use of physical force, deadly weapons and sexual assault. It had no prejudice toward racial, economic backgrounds or cultural. It was the cause of injury for many women between the ages of 12 to 55.

What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is behavior - emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse - that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other. It takes many different forms and includes behavior such as threats, name calling, isolation, withholding money, actual or threatened physical harm and sexual assault. The effects of domestic violence on women touch every aspect of their lives as well as the lives around them. Domestic abuse is a complex social problem that must be understood and seriously addressed by all community members if we truly expect to create a peaceful future for everyone.

The impact of domestic violence extends far beyond the walls of the family home. Friends, family members, co-workers, supervisors, religious leaders, and congregation members all have an important role to play in the lives of women suffering abuse. Most incidents of domestic violence are committed against women by their male partners. In a small number of cases, men are abused by female partners, but 91% - 95% of all adult domestic violence assaults are perpetrated by men against their female partners.

In physical abuse a man may punch his wife with his fists, or kick her if she has fallen to the ground. If she is pregnant, he might kick her in the abdomen. Weapons are also used in physical abuse - sometimes he will beat her with a stick, or stab her with a broken bottle, or shoot her with a gun. Or else he might just threatened her with these weapons.

A woman might even have none of those things done to her, but she might instead, find herself pushed or chased out of her home and locked outdoors in the middle of the night. Perhaps it will be raining or cold or unsafe outside, perhaps her young children will be locked out with her, by their father, or perhaps they will be shut inside with him and unable to reach her.

If a woman has to have sex with her man, whether she feels like it or not. If he commits any of these all too common crimes, he is guilty of a form of Domestic Violence known as sexual abuse.

Domestic Violence in the house may also includes emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. In this kind of abuse, a man may always be insulting his wife in public, or humiliating her or rudely ignoring her. Perhaps he acts overly jealous or with rudeness when she talks to other people, and in this way, exerts his control over her social contact with others. He may bruise her face or lock her in the house to prevent her from getting to work, and to try to make her lose her job. He may even 'love' her so much that he will threaten to kill himself whenever she tries to leave him and make herself a new life without him.

And there is economic abuse. A man may take control of all the family finances, and refuse to let his wife know anything about their financial situation, or allow her to help to manage it. He might keep all their joint income to himself and just give her a small allowance. He may take her wages from her and spend her money on alcohol or drugs for himself, or sell her possessions so he can get money.

Domestic Violence can also include a pattern of 'innocent' behavior that is intended to bother or terrorize a woman. Her ex-boyfriend may just lurk all the time near her office or home. Perhaps he or his mates pester her with anonymous telephone calls or clog her mail with repeated nuisance email messages.

Statistics of Domestic Violence

General Statistics in the United States

* Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women.

* Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted and beaten.

* 4,000,000 women a year are assaulted by their partners.

* Every day, 4 women are murdered by boyfriends or husbands.

* Prison terms for killing husbands are twice as long as for killing wives.

* 93% of women who killed their mates had been battered by them. 67% killed them to protect themselves and their children at the moment of murder.

* 25% of all crime is wife assault.

* 70% of men who batter their partners either sexually or physically abuse their children.

* Domestic violence is the number one cause of emergency room visits by women.

* 73%of the battered women seeking emergency medical services have already separated from the abuser.

* Women are most likely to be killed when attempting to leave the abuser. In fact, they're at a 75% higher risk than those who stay.

* The number-one cause of women's injuries is abuse at home. This abuse happens more often than car accidents, mugging, and rape combined.

* Battering often occurs during pregnancy. One study found that 37% of pregnant women, across all class, race, and educational lines, were physically abused during pregnancy.

* 60% of all battered women are beaten while they are pregnant.

* Weapons are used in 30% of domestic violence incidents.

* Approximately 1,155,600 adult American women have been victims of one or more forcible rapes by their husbands.

* Abusive husbands and lovers harass 74% of employed battered women at work, either in person or over the telephone, causing 20% to lose their jobs.

* It is estimated that between 20% to 52% of



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