Friday, January 22, 2010

90% cases of domestic violence go unreported

Srinagar, Jan 22: Coming down heavily on police for its carelessness in dealing with women victims of domestic violence, Minister for Social Welfare, Sakina Itoo today regretted that majority of cases of domestic violence particularly in far-flung areas go unnoticed owing to the negligence of police in registering them”.“Hundreds of my sisters and mothers have come to me and informed that police refuses to register their complaints of domestic violence they are subjected to,” Itoo said while chairing a seminar on ‘Domestic Violence on Women’ organized by Department of Students Welfare and Women’s Study Centre at University of Kashmir.She said available statistics evidence discrimination faced by women in Jammu and Kashmir. She said if the available data are taken as a pointer, it goes without saying that women has suffered worst during past two decades of turmoil.“Our’s is a male chauvinistic society where women are underestimated,” Itoo said, adding “in such a male-dominated society, women have been confined to the four walls of their houses.” Stressing the need for educating women about their rights, Itoo said it is through awareness that women can be taught to fight for their rights and seek justice. Earlier IGP (Armed J&K), Dilbagh Singh, gave a statistical analyses of the domestic violence suffered by women in India, relating it to the physical and mental trauma suffered by them. “Female feoticide, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, child marriages, child prostitution and marginal access to schools are some of the biggest factors of domestic violence perpetuated on women, informed Singh, adding that an alarmingly high number of women are missing. “They have either been murdered, raped or some sort of heavy punishment has been inflicted on them.”He said one out of every six girls do not live to see her 15th birthday; one out of every 10 girls is sexually abused before the age of four, 19 percent are abused between the age-groups of 4-8 years, 28 percent between the age of 8-12 years and 35 percent are abused between the 12-16 year age-group. Singh said there are exactly two million commercial child workers between the age of 5 and 15 years and about 3.3 million between the age of 15 to 18 years. He also confirmed that almost 99 percent cases of domestic violence are not reported at all.On the role of media in raising awareness among the masses, he said media has to play a pivotal role in disseminating knowledge and awareness about crimes against women including domestic violence and child abuse. He also underlined the need for change in male psyche vis-à-vis their relationship with women. Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Reyaz Punjabi stressed the need for sensitizing the society about adverse effects of domestic violence.“We have to share the agony of women who have suffered. The worst thing about domestic violence is that majority of the cases go unnoticed,” said Punjabi. “There is lack of awareness among women regarding their rights and people don’t realize that perpetuating domestic violence on their sisters and mothers is detrimental to their own relations,” he said while calling for social action so that women are treated on par with men.

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