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Domestic violence against women rises: Survey
Updated: 2005-11-25 13:40

Domestic violence against women is rising and most of the culprits are spouses or intimate partners, according to World Health Organization (WHO) study on violence against women.

People walk past a billboard in Beijing advocating an end to domestic violence. [newsphoto.com.cn]

The survey, conducted on more than 24,000 women in 11 countries,found that most women had experienced physical and sexual assaultsby their violent spouses or partners rather than by strangers.

Around 4-12 percent of the abused women had been beaten while pregnant with most of the attackers being their husbands.

The findings showed that a quarter of abused women suffered physical and mental problems which drove them to consider committing suicide as a way to end their suffering.

The abuse remains largely hidden with at least 20 percent of the respondents said that they never reported physical violence against them.

Despite the health consequences, some 55-95 percent of the abused never sought help from the from formal agencies such as health clinics, police or other people in authority.

In Thailand, which ranks fourth among the 11 countries, about 65 percent of all women who have been physically or sexually assaulted have had the acts perpetrated by their partners.

The Public Health Ministry's One Stop Service Crisis Center reported that from October of 2004 to October this year, a total of 10,241 abuse victims had sought treatment from 97 public hospitals. Half of the victims were youngsters aged less than 18.

"The study has given us a better understanding of the extend of violence that women experience here, and it helped us develop a national plan for the elimination of violence against women and children," Dr Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra from Mahidol University was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying Friday.

Domestic violence can be prevented only when the government and communities were mobilized to fight the widespread public-health crisis, said WHO's study coordinator Dr Claudia Garcia Moreno.

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