Why Are Women Vulnerable to Domestic Violence?
Experts believe that women’s unequal status in families and societies contributes to their victimization.
power relations are uneven, men are able to exert control in a variety
of ways. From threats to actual violence, dependency plays a role.
who have little financial or sociocultural autonomy have fewer options
in life, including escape from an abusive partner.
societies have discriminatory divorce laws and practices, trapping
women in abusive marriages or forcing them to choose between marriage
and custody of their children.
- Domestic violence is
often treated as a private matter, exempt from norms and laws that
apply to stranger violence. Victims face stigma not associated with
other crimes. Impunity emboldens perpetrators.
acceptance of violence against women leads victims to vastly
underreport instances of abuse. When they do report abuse, legal
mechanisms for remedying the situation are often unavailable – the laws
don’t apply or they are unevenly enforced by police and judges. This
creates a vicious cycle where women feel that if they take the risk of
speaking out, they will not receive justice, which leads to more
instances of domestic violence going unreported.
Amnesty International has described women as being in “double jeopardy”
where violence is concerned – overrepresented as victims and
underrepresented as decision-makers in society. They are more likely
to be hurt and less likely to receive justice than any other type of
Next: Violence Against Women: A Universal Problem