The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
What is PHYSICAL VIOLENCE?
Violent acts such as coercion, physical assault, threats and verbal abuse which causes physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women is violence against women.
This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women.
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states that: “violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women” and that “violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.”
Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by “individuals” as well as “states”. Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are rape; domestic violence; sexual harassment; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, marriage by abduction and forced marriage. Some forms of violence are perpetrated or condoned by the state such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel. Many forms of Violence against women, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.
Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse, battering, or family violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Until well into the 20th century, domestic violence against women was largely treated as a private matter. Through a process of gradual evolution in public attitudes against domestic violence, laws began to change to outlaw domestic violence. Thus domestic violence against women dropped significantly due to it being criminalized and to the social stigma against. Despite this progress, the problem of domestic violence against women has not fully been removed from our society.
Recognizing domestic abuse
There are women who stay in abusive relationships but don’t realize it until they fall victim to acute domestic violence by their partners. There are some signs and behaviors that abusers commonly display that can be used to identify abusive tendencies and prevent domestic violence.
Abusers try to threaten or intimidate their partners to get their way. They threaten to hurt themselves, their partners, their loved ones and their belongings.
Another thing that they do is resume a dominant position in the relationship. They try to control everything that their partner does and always have things done the way they like. They also isolate their partner from friends, family and acquaintances, so that they become completely dependent on the abuser and it gets very difficult for them to escape their relationship.
If your partner displays these behaviors, then there are chances that he/she might be capable of committing domestic violence.
What you should do if you are victim of domestic violence
If you are victim of domestic violence, it is important to hire a lawyer experienced in representing victims of domestic violence. A skilled domestic violence attorney can help and explain you what rights you may have and how to best protect yourself from an abusive partner or family member.
- At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.
- Domestic violence causing health problems to women and children
- Domestic violence leads to increased risk towards certain health outcomes like major depression, conduct disorder, and drug abuse.Moreover, because women are primary caretakers in Pakistan, children also face increased risk for depression and behavioral problems.
- Furthermore, women are often unable to receive treatment for psychological disorders as mental health within the cultural realm of Pakistan is not considered a health matter.Mental health illiteracy leads to treatment of mental health disorders superstitiously or not at all.
- Particularly, in rural areas, if a woman in a domestic violence relationship is living with her husband’s family, she has little recourse to seek help or escape.
- The best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its root and structural causes.
- We must spread awareness on gender equality.
Awareness-raising and community mobilization, including through media and social media, is another important component of an effective prevention strategy.
“The writer Jaweria A. Kashif is Advocate High Court, Lahore. Her Facebook profile here.”