Few doctors, nurses or other health personnel have the awareness and the training to identify violence as the underlying cause of women's health problems.
The health sector can play a vital role in preventing violence against women, helping to identify abuse early, providing victims with the necessary treatment and referring women to appropriate care. Health services must be places where women feel safe, are treated with respect, are not stigmatized, and where they can receive quality, informed support.
A comprehensive health sector response to the problem is needed, in particular addressing the reluctance of abused women to seek help. Domestic violence against women has been identified as a public health priority. Public health personnel can play a vital role in addressing this issue. Since violence against women is both a consequence and a cause of gender inequality, primary prevention programs that address gender inequality and tackle the root causes of violence are all essential. Public health workers have a responsibility to build awareness by creating and disseminating materials and innovative audio-visual messages, which project a positive image of girl child and women in the society.
An integrated media campaign covering electronic, print and film media that portrays domestic violence as unacceptable is the need of the hour. The role of increasing male responsibility to end domestic violence needs to be emphasized.
Resources and Publications
Programs are required which intend to address battered women's needs, including those that focus on building self-efficacy and livelihood skills. The significance of informal and local community networks should be acknowledged in this regard. The survivors of domestic violence can be involved in program planning and implementation in order to ensure accessibility and effectiveness. The public health experts have a vital role to play in networking with NGOs and voluntary organizations and creation of social support networks. The public health experts have a potential to train personnel specialized to address the needs of victims of domestic violence.
In the field of research, public health personnel can contribute by conducting studies on the ideological and cultural aspects which give rise to and perpetuate the phenomenon of domestic violence. Similarly, the execution and impact of programs must be assessed in order to provide the necessary background for policy-making and planning.
However, the health sector must work with all other sectors including education, legal and judicial, and social services.
In January, India implemented its first law aimed at tackling domestic violence The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, to protect the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It also defines repeated insults, ridiculing or name-calling, and demonstrations of obsessive possessiveness and jealousy of a partner as domestic violence.
The big challenge in front now is to enforce it in true sense. A bill alone will not help in preventing domestic abuse; what is needed is a change in mindsets. Concerted and co-ordinated multisectoral efforts are key methods of enacting change and responding to domestic violence at local and national levels.
The Millennium Development Goal regarding girls' education, gender equality and the empowerment of women reflects the international community's recognition that health, development, and gender equality issues are closely interconnected.
Hence the responses to the problem must be based on integrated approach. The effectiveness of measures and initiatives will depend on coherence and co ordination associated with their design and implementation. The issue of domestic violence must be brought into open and examined as any other preventable health problem, and best remedies available be applied. Source of Support: Nil.
Conflict of Interest: None declared. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Indian J Community Med. Ravneet Kaur and Suneela Garg. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
- Family and Domestic Violence!
- Domestic and Family Violence in Post-Conflict Communities?
- What is Domestic Violence?.
Correspondence to: Dr. E-mail: ni. Received May 15; Accepted Dec This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Zimmerman 1 Domestic violence is a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socio-economic, cultural, racial and class distinctions. What is Domestic Violence? Susan Scheter, Visionary leader in the movement to end family violence 3 The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, says that any act, conduct, omission or commission that harms or injures or has the potential to harm or injure will be considered domestic violence by the law.
Problem Statement Domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women. What Leads to Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence and its Health Implications Violence not only causes physical injury, it also undermines the social, economic, psychological, spiritual and emotional well being of the victim, the perpetrator and the society as a whole. Domestic Violence and Reproductive Health There is enough evidence to support that higher reproductive morbidity is seen among women experiencing domestic violence.
Impact of Domestic Violence on Children Children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional, behavioral, developmental or academic problems. As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence in the household are: more likely to use violence at school or community in response to perceived threats more likely to attempt suicide more likely to use drugs more likely to commit crimes, especially sexual assault more likely to use violence to enhance their reputation and self esteem more likely to become abusers in later life.
Why Do Women Stay? Addressing Domestic Violence An effective response to violence must be multi-sectoral; addressing the immediate practical needs of women experiencing abuse; providing long-term follow up and assistance; and focusing on changing those cultural norms, attitudes and legal provisions that promote the acceptance of and even encourage violence against women, and undermine women's enjoyment of their full human rights and freedoms. Role of Public Health Personnel Domestic violence against women has been identified as a public health priority.
References 1. Zimmerman C. Plates in a basket will rattle: Domestic violence in Combodia, Phnom Pehn. Combodia: The Asia Foundation; Multi country study on Women's health and domestic violence against women. Geneva: World Health Organization; National center on elder abuse. Washington DC: Fact Sheet: Domestic violence: Older women can be victims too. Rennison CM. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Rising domestic violence [last cited on Mar 5], [last updated on Mar 16]. Two- third married Indian women victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence: A priority public health issue in western Pacific region.
Violence prevention and peace building
As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, dysregulated aggression, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience severe psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as avoidance, hypervigilance to threats, and dysregulated aggression which may contribute to vicarious traumatization.
The first known use of the term domestic violence in a modern context, meaning violence in the home, was in an address to the Parliament of the United Kingdom by Jack Ashley in Traditionally, domestic violence DV was mostly associated with physical violence. Terms such as wife abuse , wife beating , and wife battering were used, but have declined in popularity due to efforts to include unmarried partners, abuse other than physical, female perpetrators, and same-sex relationships. The term intimate partner violence is often used synonymously with domestic abuse or domestic violence ,  but it specifically refers to violence occurring within a couple relationship i.
Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry -related violence, marital rape , female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation. Prior to the mids, most legal systems viewed wife beating as a valid exercise of a husband's authority over his wife. Political agitation and the first-wave feminist movement during the 19th century led to changes in both popular opinion and legislation regarding domestic violence within the United Kingdom , the United States and other countries.
In most legal systems around the world, domestic violence has been addressed only from the s onwards; indeed, before the lateth century, in most countries there was very little protection, in law or in practice, against DV.
Again, most legal systems fail to criminalize circumstances where a wife is forced to have sexual relations with her husband against her will. In recent decades, there has been a call for the end of legal impunity for domestic violence, an impunity often based on the idea that such acts are private. In its explanatory report it acknowledges the long tradition of European countries of ignoring, de jure or de facto , these forms of violence.
The most prominent example is rape within marriage, which for a long time had not been recognised as rape because of the relationship between victim and perpetrator.
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- Problem Statement.
There has been increased attention given to specific forms of domestic violence, such as honor killings, dowry deaths, and forced marriages. India has, in recent decades, made efforts to curtail dowry violence: the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act PWDVA was enacted in , following years of advocacy and activism by the women's organizations.
In , Widney Brown, advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, argued that there are similarities between the dynamics of crimes of passion and honor killings, stating that: "crimes of passion have a similar dynamic [to honor killings] in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable".
Historically, children had few protections from violence by their parents, and in many parts of the world, this is still the case. For example, in Ancient Rome, a father could legally kill his children. Many cultures have allowed fathers to sell their children into slavery. Child sacrifice was also a common practice. Henry Kempe. Prior to this, injuries to children—even repeated bone fractures—were not commonly recognized as the results of intentional trauma.
Instead, physicians often looked for undiagnosed bone diseases or accepted parents' accounts of accidental mishaps such as falls or assaults by neighborhood bullies. Not all domestic violence is equivalent.