Thursday, 02 December 2021 07:38 GMT

Domestic violence 'pervasive' in Cambodia study says


(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Violence against women in Cambodia is “pervasive” and although 90 percent of women beaten by their partners need medical treatment nearly half do not seek it a new study has found.

The results form part of a wide-ranging survey launchedFriday afternoonby the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and National Institute of Statistics.

Following interviews with more than 3500 womenaged from 15-64 in 2014 and 2015 it emerged that 21 percent of women in partnerships had been beaten or sexually assaulted with three-quarters of these saying the violence had been severe.

According to Women’s Minister Ing Kantha Phavi “some even tried to commit suicide.”

“There is a high rate [of suicide attempts] compared to those who experience no violence” she said in a speech Friday.

The report also found that women who had experienced intimate partner violence were “significantly more likely to have had an abortion miscarriage or unplanned pregnancy".

Almost half of the women who had experienced some form of violence did not tell anyone about it and those who did tended to approach family members instead of law enforcement officials.

In a statement United NationsWomencountry representativeWenny Kusuma said “shame and social stigma” were large contributing factors to women failing to seek proper assistance if they experience intimate partner violence.

“This underscores the urgency of ensuring that a full range of services are available and that all victims are fully aware of their right to access these services” she said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the conference Friday Erin Bourgois program manager of the Ending Violence Against Women project at The Asia Foundation said “Low confidence and trust in the police can be a big reason why women do not report their cases.”

The new study which is the first of its kind in the country to use a World Health Organization-approved methodology comes two years after a U.N. survey found that one in five Cambodian men had committed rape.

In her speech Kantha Phavi said the government response was to make communities aware that “violence as something that is not acceptable and that it is preventable.”

“The government says that violence against women is a serious issue affecting society and economic growth so there is a need for promoting non-violent culture in society” she said adding thatefforts had been made to reform the judicial system and legislate for the prevention of domestic violence.

Contacted by phone on FridayRos Sopheap executive director of the Gender and Development for Cambodia NGO said howeverthat more needed to be done to ensure that policies to safeguard women are backed up financially.

“The government needs to make sure that there is a budget on this” she told AnadoluAgency.

“There are a lot of policies and strategies and each ministry has gender mainstreaming; they have an agenda and have been trained but the problem is that they cannot implement because they don’t have a budget.”

In addition she said there is still room for improvement with regard to how the courts handle cases of gender-based violence.

“Women are afraid of dealing with the courts” she said.
By Lauren Crothers


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