Now that’s a contradictory statement, isn’t it? I had always been deluded into the notion that domestic violence happens with those women who are less educated, who have low self-esteem and are intimidated to seek help. Sadly, the fact tells it otherwise. Contradicting the notion that domestic violence is primarily a problem afflicting the socially marginalized, it is found that women with higher education are up to 50 percent more likely to fall victim to violence.
Violence against women is an issue throughout the world. But every community adds its own dimensions to perpetuate the violence. Cultural evils like dowry demands, social evils like alcoholism, patriarchy and its stereotypes add as fuel to make the situation more pathetic. Much has been discussed about domestic violence on various levels of society. Domestic violence being a broad topic, with different issues as causes, dealing with it, consequences and like,I’ld like to focus on correlation between level of education and rate of abuse.
Talk of domestic violence usually conjures up images of poor, illiterate women, unaware of their rights and economically dependent on their husbands for survival. In a recent study that examined domestic abuse in Egypt, Chile, India, and the Philippines, the evidence shows that domestic violence knows no boundaries of race, class, or geography. What surprised some was that in India, the higher a woman’s education the more likely it is that she will be abused.
“Kumud Sharma of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in New Delhi traced the correlation between education and domestic violence to patriarchal attitudes. “Educated women are aware of their rights,” she said. “They are no longer willing to follow commands blindly. When they ask questions, it causes conflicts, which, in turn, leads to violence. In many Indian states, working women are asked to hand over their paycheck to the husband and have no control over their finances. So, if they stop doing so or start asserting their right, there is bound to be friction.”
Domestic violence experts say the problem in India stems from a cultural bias against women who challenge their husband’s right to control their behavior. Women who do this—even by asking for household money or stepping out of the house without their permission–are seen as punishable. This process leads men to believe their notion of masculinity and manhood is reflected to the degree to which they control their wives.”
The reasons include neglecting children, going out without telling partner, arguing with partner, refusing to have sex, not preparing food properly or on time and talking with other men!
Education is hardly the key to fight this menace. Educated women also keep quiet about being physically abused. sometimes it’s for the children, sometimes they make excuses for their husbands and other times they think they brought it on themselves, some just are too embarrassed to talk about it because it deprives them from the little self esteem they have left.
Although men’s preoccupation with controlling their wives declines with age–as does the incidence of domestic violence–researchers found that the highest rates of domestic violence were among highly educated men. Thirty-two percent of men with zero years of education and 42 percent men with one-to-five years of education reported domestic violence. Among men with six-to-10 years of education–as well as those with high-school education and higher–this figure increased to 57 percent.
Around two-third of married women in India were victims of domestic violence .Noting that women with tangible economic assets were less likely to be victims of domestic violence than those who lack them, the report cited Kerala as an example.
“In Kerala, a survey found that 49 per cent women without property reported domestic violence compared with only seven per cent who owned property,”
The survey says that women in several countries justify wife-beating for one reason or another. Some say the biggest problem is convincing the women that they do not deserve abuse.” Most women who face domestic violence think it’s a normal part of their life, it’s a part of being a wife, daughter or a sister in law,” says Manjima Bhattacharya, who works for Jagori, a group that uses music and theatre to spread awareness about domestic violence.
The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating, including life-long emotional distress, mental health issues and poor reproductive health. The adverse effects of domestic violence do not end with these or other health consequences for women alone; what makes domestic violence particularly insidious is its intergenerational effects. Children of mothers who have been abused have higher mortality rates, lower immunization rates, and in some countries are more likely to be undernourished than children of mothers who have not experienced domestic violence. There is also consistent evidence for additional disheartening intergenerational effects: Compared with children of mothers who have not been abused, female children of abused mothers are more likely to be abused as adults, and male children of abused mothers are more likely to be abusers as adults.
Hitting or abusing happens when there is no compassion in the relationship. Men and women need to learn to respect each other, understand that there is a certain way that the other needs to be treated. And perhaps more importantly, men and women need to learn how important self-respect is! Understand that you deserve respect, that you deserve to be treated a certain way, and you will never tolerate abuse. Perhaps then, more cases of abuse will be reported, and in turn, incidences of domestic violence can be curbed.
Second option would be communication – another solution to a lot of problems. Whatever the apple of discord, there is always a peaceful way of settling things. Talking things through usually clears up a lot of misconceptions and avoids an ugly mess. Unfortunately, in India, we believe in action and not in words… and for all the wrong reasons!
· I am aware of the fact that there are few bad women out there who misuse their rights, just for instance misuse of anti-dowry law in India. But only because a small percentage gets it wrong, the other majority is not bound to be burdened with the blame.
· Not only women, men also get victimised.Either way, there isn’t any justification for abusing your spouses. They are not punching bags to vent out your ego frustrations.