Mapping Domestic Violence against Women in Central Serbia
Mapping Domestic Violence against Women in Central Serbia Belgrade, 2010
The most important objectives of the research • To determine the prevalence of various forms of domestic violence against women; • To determine the characteristics of domestic violence against women according to significant aspects; • To identify key factors of domestic violence against women; • To examine the accessibility to social services as means for support to victims of domestic violence.
Implementing organization - SeConS in brief• Independent think-tank, founded in 2005 in Belgrade by a group of sociologists and social researchers.• SeConS’ mission is to contribute to integrated and sustainable development of Serbia and the Region.• Organization’s good practices have spread in neighboring countries, Montenegro and BiH.• Areas of SeConS’ support are: social inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women, Roma, refugees and IDPs, people experiencing poverty; regional and local sustainable development; institutional and organizational reform and development of the public sector; HR development; evaluation of development programs and projects and assessment of public policies at the national, regional and local levels.
SeConS in brief (cont.)Expertise of SeConS:• Designing methodologies and conducting empirical research from different fields in Serbia and the region• Drafting comparative studies, analyzing policies, legislation and providing recommendations for further improvement in Serbia and the region• Designing and conducting training and education programs for individuals, institutions and organizations, to support their work in social inclusion• Empowering marginalized groups and individuals through trainings, to improve information sharing and help them to become more proactively involved in decision-making processes• Advocating for social development, through representation of interests of vulnerable groups and networking with relevant stakeholders.
International framework• The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: domestic violence against women is treated as one of most important forms of violence against women• CEDAW – Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women alongside the General Recommendation no. 9: domestic violence is a form of discrimination against women, therefore falling under CEDAW• UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and effects• Resolution 2003/45 – Elimination of violence against women
European Framework• Declaration on the Policy of opposing violence against women in a democratic Europe• Action plan for the fight against violence against women• Declaration on equality between women and men as a fundamental criterion of democracy• Recommendation 1681 – Campaign to combat domestic violence against women in Europe• Expert Committee for preparing the European Convention on preventing and combating all forms of violence against women
National Framework (central level)• Council for Gender Equality of the Republic of Serbia• Gender Equality Directorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia – National Strategy for advancement of the position of women and promotion of gender equality (2009-2015) and National Action Plan for the advancement of the position of women and promotion of gender equality (2010-2015)• Committee on Gender Equality of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia• Deputy of the Protector of Citizens/Ombudsman for gender equality and rights of persons with disabilities• Commissioner for the protection of equality
Definition of family and domestic violence against women• Violence – type of behaviour or relationship in which coercion, intimidation, derogation, belittlement and control (in the sense of freedom restriction) is used directly or through threats in order to hurt the other person and to oppress him/her psychologically physically, economically or socially..• Gender-based violence – forms of violence which are directed against individuals or groups on the basis of their gender identity, and that arises from normative expectations connected with gender roles and unequal power relations within the specific society (Bloom, 2008).• Domestic violence – forms of violence committed within a household, kinship or partner relations, regardless of whether or not the persons are living together or not.
How to operationalize violence? It has been decided to define violence through the following dimensions:• economic,• physical,• psychological and• sexual violence.
Dimension and indicators of violenceForms of IndicatorsviolenceEconomic Limited access to money within the household and depriving money for personal needsviolence Taking away personal money Discretional spending of the money by a household member resulting in the household being left without enough money for everyday needs during a month A ban to find employmentPsychological Verbal humiliation (disparaging, cursing, insulting) when alone or in the presence of othersviolence Ignoring, denying attention and conversation for longer than an hour Intimidating (threat to harm the woman or a person close to her) Denying or limiting movement (going out, visiting others and alike) Intentional destruction of the woman’s personal propertyPhysical Jolting and shaking woman’s shouldersviolence Pulling hair Twisting arms Hitting with a hand (slapping across the face, hitting with a fist) Hitting with or throwing an object at the woman Biting Squeezing woman’s neck, choking Slamming violently against a wall Inflicting burns (cigarette, hotplates and alike) Assaulting with weapons or tools (knife, gun, axe and alike)Sexual violence Sexual intercourse or certain actions during the intercourse under duress with the use of physical force or threat of harming the woman or someone close to her Sexual intercourse or certain actions during the intercourse under duress by blackmailing, insulting, accusing and the like, with or without the use of physical force
Operationalizing DOMESTIC violenceDomestic violence against women has been operationalizedto comprise all cases of violence committed against women: – by members (male or female) of the same household, regardless of kinship; – by family members and relatives (male or female) regardless of sharing or not sharing the household with the women include in the sample; – as well as by present or former partners, regardless of being married or not and regardless of whether or not the partner is living in the same household as the women included in the sample.
Key notions• General family and domestic violence – violence comprising all forms of violence, including economic, physical, psychological and sexual.• Specific forms of violence – particular forms of violence manifested as economic, physical, psychological or sexual violence, or through a combination of several different forms of violence.• Actual violence – violence committed in the past year (12 months prior to the research);• Lifetime violence – violence experienced by women throughout their adult lives.
“Sensitive topic research”• Can have consequences either directly to respondents, or indirectly for the category of persons comprised in the research. Investigating a phenomenon that poses a threat to the respondents is a major problem.• Three key problems 1. Questions can intrude into the most intimate sphere of their lives and problems, issues that can provoke pain, stress or shame and therefore can cause secondary victimization of respondents; 2. Asking questions on sensitive issues can provoke feelings of shame and stigmatisation in respondents, or they can be incriminating, as in the case of illegal activities 3. Respondents can be afraid that revealing information can put them in danger, lead to punishment or revenge of other persons in their surrounding that might be in power positions.
Key challengeChallenge: How to ensure the quality of the researchand validity of data on a subject that respondentssystematically want to keep hidden, while at thesame time keeping the highest level of professionalethics – which means that respondents are notmislead in regard to the topic of the research, thatrespondents are not pressured and lead into a stateof intense emotional reactions which researcherscannot control as it surpasses their role andcompetence.
What do WHO standards prescribe?Framework 1: Standards and guidelines for research of violence against womenOn the basis of its extensive experience in researching violence against women all around theworld, the WHO has defined some of the most important standards for quality and ethical researchof violence against women:1. Safety of the respondents and the research team is of crucial importance and should direct all project decisions.2. Prevalence studies should be based on quality methodology and should take into consideration research experiences in relation to the opportunities of reducing the cover-up of violence to the lowest possible degree.3. Protection of the anonymity of subjects is of crucial importance for their safety and for the quality of the given data.4. Members of the research team should be carefully chosen, adequately trained and should have continuous support throughout the research.5. The instrument and the procedure of gathering data should eliminate or reduce the stress which may result from the research.6. Researchers and donors should have a moral obligation to ensure adequate interpretation of the research data and their use in the aim of promoting the policies and measures.7. The issues related to violence should be included in researches intended for other objectives only when it is possible to meet ethical and methodological demands.WHO, 2001: 11
Our response to the challenge• Official title of the survey: “Research on the living conditions of living and women’s health”• Questionnaire for the household – the interviewer interviews other members of the household• Questionnaire for the women – self-completion• Risks of refusal reduced to a minimum (21%)• Maximum protection of both women and interviewers• High level of interviewer’s control over the situation and procedure of data collecting• High level of women’s control to answer the sensitive questions• Secondary victimisation avoided
The Sample Number of women850 925 Belgrade South and Eastern Serbia 725 Central and Western Serbia
Findings of the researchFINDINGS ON PREVALENCE
The prevalence of actual and lifetime violence Actual violence Lifetime violence 37.5 45.8 54.2 62.5 Women experiencing violence Women experiencing violence Women not experiencing violence Women not experiencing violence
Economic violence• Limited access to money within a household, withholding money for personal needs;• a household member who is the main income provider has spent the money, leaving the household without resources to cover everyday needs;• stealing personal money;• forbidding to work. 11% 16% during the past year lifetime prevalence
Psychological violence• Damaging partners self- • Yelling, cursing, insulting, disparaging perception, self-confidence • Ignoring, not communicating, refusing• Passive aggression – to talk depriving emotions and • Threatening to abuse the woman or a care person close to her, destroying• Intimidation: explicit or woman’s personal things implicit • Prohibiting the woman to visit others• Limiting personal space and go out and freedoms 32% 49% during the past year lifetime prevalence
Physical violence• jolting, shaking,• pulling hair, 10% during the past year• twisting arms,• slapping across the face, hitting with a fist• hitting with or throwing an object at the woman,• biting, 22% lifetime prevalence• squeezing woman’s neck, choking• squeezing against a wall,• inflicting burns intentionally with a cigarette, iron, hotplate and the like,• assaulting with a gun, knife, other weapons or tools.
Sexual violenceThe following is classified as sexualviolence - cases of women reporting 1.2%sexual intercourse or coerced sexual acts during the past yearduring sexual intercourse, with the use ofphysical force or under threat of physicalforce to the partner or a person close toher, as well as the cases of such violence 3.8%which have been carried out without lifetime prevalencephysical force, but withblackmail, insults, accusations and thelike.
Prevalence of various forms of violenceIndividual forms of violence Prevalence during the past Lifetime prevalence yearEconomic 11.4 15.8Physical 10.1 21.6Psychological 31.8 48.7Sexual 1.2 3.8Rape within the family 0.2 1.4 Survey data also showed that a third of women have been exposed to multiple forms of violence in the past year!
Who are the perpetrators of violence? Perpetrators Economic Psychological Physical Current husband/partner 40.4 44.1 42.8 Former husband/partner 10.1 13.9 28.9 Father 6.4 7.1 7.1 Son 15.6 3.5 1.9 Another male relative 12.8 10.4 9.2 Mother 3.7 7.1 4.8 Another female relative 11.0 13.9 5.3
Regional differences Women experiencing physical violence Women experiencing psychological violence Women experiencing sexual violence60 53.5 48.950 43.44030 27.3 19.1 17.42010 5.1 3.4 2.70 Belgrade Southern and Eastern Central and Western Serbia Serbia
Poverty70 59 Women with60 experience of economic50 46.8 violence Women with40 experience of physical 30.3 violence30 27.9 Women with 20.120 experience of 13.3 psychological violence 8.910 2.9 Women with experience of sexual0 violence Undeprived Deprived
Other factors• traditional values of spouse/partner,• tolerance of women towards physical violence,• patrilocality in establishing a household,• economic dependence of women,• family problems (especially risks of alcoholism and drug-addiction) It is interesting to note that women who are not legally married (to their partner) are at a higher risk of violence than married women.
Domestic violence risk factorsExperience of family member active alcoholism drug addiction problems in familydomestic in the war during the relationsviolence 90s No Yes No Yes No Yes No yesWomen without 47.7 40.3 49.1 10.9 46.1 4.2 47.7 9.9experience ofviolenceWomen 52.3 59.7 50.9 89.1 53.9 95.8 52.3 90.1experiencingviolenceTotal 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Consequences of violence• Women victims of domestic violence suffer from various forms of health issues – from headaches, nausea and so on, to more serious conditions such as depression, fear, and anxiety.• It is important to note that children often witness violence – in 40% of cases of physical violence against women, children were witnesses, while in 10.2% of cases, children themselves suffered injuries.
Physical injuriesType of injury % of women experiencing physical violence who have suffered an injuryBruises, scratches 61.3Physical pain lasting several days following 27.7the injuryLosing consciousness 5.6Massive bruises, contusions, cuts, burns 12.7Weapon-inflicted injuries 0.6Bone fractures 3.3
Research findingsSUPPORT TO THE VICTIMS OFVIOLENCE
Attitude towards seeking help90 81.4 78.480 73.770605040 Whole sample30 Urban areas20 16.9 15.8 18.7 Rural areas10 4.7 2.8 7.60 a woman should a woman should Its the best to keep approach an approach a close silent on the institution for help person for help problem
Actual behaviour Whole sample Urban areas Rural areas40353025201510 5 0 Approaching Approaching Attempt to Attempt to Attempt to Left the an institution close divorce or leave the make household for help persons for separate household perpetrator for a shorter help leave the period of household time
Seeking help % of victims who have approached others for help8070605040302010 0
Self-perception of violence % of victims who recognize that they have suffered abuse60 55.8 505040 30.1 29.33020100 Recognizing Recognizing Recognizing Recognizing sexual physical violence psychological economic violence violence violence
Closing remarksFurther promotion of institutional and legal mechanisms for fighting domestic violence against women is needed, as well as increasing human and financial resources at all levels, developing systems of monitoring domestic violence, and improving gender equality overall, particularly socio-economic.The fight against domestic violence against women has to become an integral part of various strategies and measures. This will enable simultaneous impact on numerous areas (factors) that condition and sustain domestic violence against women.
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