Domestic Violence constitutes patterns of abusive behavior on part of either partner. It may or may not constitute an act of crime depending upon the country specific legislature. It is believed that alcohol and mental illness are the most common phenomena associated with it.
Domestic violence has various forms. It may not just be aggression or physical assault but also emotional assault which therefore makes this act hard to categorize report or even develop a legislature for. Any infringement upon the basic rights of a member of the household qualifies for domestic violence. Economic deprivation, domineering attitude and emotional blackmail are also very common forms of domestic violence. Spousal abuse while being the most commonly reported form of domestic violence probably makes up for very little proportion of the collective statistics on domestic violence because domestic violence encompasses all sorts of abuses in a household. It includes child abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence.
With the size and constitution of the household and social backdrop the forms of violence and the roles of the perpetrators change. One of the most common forms of domestic violence observed in Pakistan is the violence practiced by the in-laws of the women married into the household. Every year a number of cases are reported on the victimization of the daughter-in-law by mother-in-law. Similarly spousal abuses are also very common in Pakistan. The myth that it is the woman in the couple, who is the subject of violence, is now increasingly being proved wrong. It is actually not just Pakistan where the violence is reciprocated, in fact in developed nations it is more so.
The daunting task ahead for Pakistan in this regard is providing it a cover through laws and regulations. Considering only one third of the total domestic violence cases are reported in the world it is equally important to increase this figure also and encourage reporting incidents of any abuse in the household. Domestic violence is preventable public problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
By: Maheen Zahra Baloch