Economic crisis and domestic violence. Is money running out to protect women?

As Western societies try to combat social tensions, laws have driven investigators or regulators ever deeper into spheres like the workplace, school or church. Perhaps the most difficult threshold to cross has been that of the home, where violence against women seems to defy efforts to curb it.

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Most Western societies increased efforts to combat gender violence, for example by laws that make it easier for victims to seek legal redress, by orders for abusers to stay away from victims  or by deeming aggressive behavior like issuing death threats as criminal.

However, the results are rather disappointing, especially due to the fact that the the number of women who have abandoned legal proceedings before a final ruling, generally in physical abuse cases, stays on a very high level (almost 50% in Spain, for example). Moreover, women still wait much too long to report a crime and court proceedings are long and bureaucratic. The majority of  women killed by their partners had not previously reported their attacker for abusive behavior. And not all women who do file reports  get portection. Finally, only a limited amount of money or no money at all is spend for psycho-educational treatments for violent men, even though these treatments would help tackling the cause of the problem.

At a time of governmental austerity, only limited financing is reserved for information, prevention and legal support. Many women’s organizations are also demanding more money for psychological evaluation teams to help judges estimate the level of abuse suffered by plaintiffs. The limitation of government ressources for the fight against domestic violence  is highly counterproductive, as violent conducts are known to increase during periods of  economic uncertainty. The global financial crisis aggravates the explosive mix of unemployment, psycho-social stress, alcohol and drug abuse and violence against women and children. Therefore, especially in these days, more money and attention is needed to tackle domestic violence all over the world.

Source: Blog author’s own contribution; NYTimes

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1 Response to Economic crisis and domestic violence. Is money running out to protect women?

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