Introduction: “Violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”-(declared by UN in 1993). 1 Violence against women is quite a common term in the case of Bangladesh. Every day when we turn out the pages of newspapers, we see many types of violence cases.
Types of women violence:
Violence against women has many forms. Women face violence from physical abuse to psychological assault and from financial abuse to women trafficking. Whatnot form it takes, it causes serious long-term physical and psychological effects in women’s lives.
Physical torture: Physical torture is using physical force that injures a woman or puts a woman in danger. Physical abuse can happen in dating or married relationships, but it can also happen outside a relationship.
Sexual assault and rape: Sexual assault is any kind of unwanted sexual activity, from touching to rape. Most women who are raped are raped by someone they know. Rape is never the victim’s fault. Sometimes we ignore marital rapes. But if a woman doesn’t want to do the sexual activity with her partner and he forces her to do so it will also consider as rape.
Psychological assault: Psychological assault is a type of violence which may be verbal, using words that can traumatize women. It may be a threat of inflicting physical damage, like raising a fist for instance’ or any other form of hostility that either puts the women in immediate danger or makes her apprehensive of such danger.
Harassment and eve-teasing: Harassment is any unwelcome behavior or comments made by one person to another. The most common type of harassment is street harassment which is mostly known as eve-teasing. Eve-teasing is any kind of behavior or comments that may be not always sexual but may target one’s religion, gender, age, race, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Human trafficking: Human trafficking happens when traffickers force victims for the purpose of providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage or the removal of organs or tissues or engaging in commercial sex business or labor services against his/her will. The victims are mostly drugged, locked up or beaten. The most common victims of sex trafficking are girls and women.
Factors associated with women violence:
Because of lack of education and less awareness, the fundamental right of autonomy of women is being crushed not only by their partners but also by the society.
However, some social systems and cultures consider women as their symbol of respect and honor. But they also restrict women from any type of external activities. Misconception between Islamic teaching and old traditional, cultural and societal norms is another factor associated with violence against women.
Many researchers have found that poverty is a contributing factor for violence against women. Men are expected to be more economically productive. So, they have to give economic support to their homes. If they fail to complete those goals they get frustrated and as a result, women face the abuse.
Alcohol utilization of intimate partner is another triggering factor for the violence, as it inhibits judgmental capabilities, decreases the abilities to understand social norms and roles.
Low empowerment and women’s reduced independency is another contributing factor for women violence. Because of low empowerment, women are not considered to be capable enough to participate in decision making. So, decisions are mostly taken by the male members even in the woman’s life and if they insist they become the victim of physical violence.
Bangladesh statistics about women violence:
According to a web journal of Dhaka Tribune in 2016, around 49.6% of lifelong married women have suffered physical violence, 28.7% emotional violence, 27.2% sexual violence, and 11.4% financial violence. 2
According to a survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the abuse rate in 2011 was 87.1% which has decreased in 2015 and stand at 80.2%. 2
According to a women’s rights group, 4,896 women and girls were subjected to multiple forms of torture throughout 2016. 3
Mohila Parishad statistics show that, in 2016, 1,050 women and girls raped in total as well as 166 gang rape victims and 44 killed after being raped and in 2015 the number of gang rapes was 199. 3
According to a web journal of Daily Sun in 25th Nov 2017, in the last 10 months, 834 women and girls were raped, 630 women were killed, 190 children were victims of child marriage, 204 women and girls were victims of eve teasing and 285 women were victims of physical torture.4