Domestic violence rose in Karnataka, reveals health survey

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The latest National Health Survey-5 has revealed that domestic violence against married women and sexual violence against young women have increased in Karnataka, compared to the previous survey findings. From 20.6 per cent, the prevalence of spousal violence against women aged between 18 and 49 years has risen to 44.4 per cent. The ratio of young women, aged between 18 and 29, who experienced sexual violence by age 18, also shot up from 10.3 per cent to 11 per cent.

Women in the state experienced domestic violence in the form of being slapped, pushed, shaken, having something thrown at them, arms twisted, hair pulled, being kicked, dragged, beaten up, punched with a fist or something that could hurt her, choked or burnt, the report stated. The experience of spousal violence is slightly higher among women in rural areas (49 per cent) than in urban areas (48 per cent).

“Eight per cent of married women in the age group of 18-49 reported that their husbands physically forced them to have sex even when they did not want to, and 6 per cent reported that their husband forced them with threats or in some other way to perform sexual acts they did not want to,” the survey noted.

Domestic violence increased, especially during the pandemic, with husbands out of work and spending more time at home, said Mamatha Yajaman, a core group member of the NGO Gamana Mahila Samooha which works with survivors of violence. 

“In some cases, violence meted out by the husband is habitual. In other cases, it happens when he is under the influence of alcohol. We have observed that the police are often not helpful, with the entire system functioning in a patriarchal manner. Owing to this, women do not get justice even if they come forward to complain,” Mamatha said. 

82% men say wife-beating is justified: Report

Six per cent of women aged 18-49 who have ever been pregnant experienced physical violence during one or more of their pregnancies. The most common types of injuries among married women who have experienced physical and sexual violence are cuts, bruises or aches, deep wounds, broken bones, broken teeth or any other serious injury, eye injuries, sprains, dislocations, minor and severe burns, the survey noted.

Shockingly, 82 per cent of men said that wife-beating is justified in some circumstances, especially if she shows disrespect to the in-laws, if she is being unfaithful, or if she neglects the house or children, according to the report. 

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