The second Arab Regional Conference for Family Protection from Family Violence

Married women most susceptible to domestic violence - study

February 16, 2009

(Jordan Times - Amman) Married women are the most susceptible to domestic violence, constituting 80 per cent of victims, according to a study released on Monday.
Eighty per cent of reported family violence cases in the Kingdom were perpetrated by a family member, with 45 per cent committed by the husband, 23 per cent by the father and 16 per cent by the brother, the study indicated.

The figures were announced on Monday during the second Arab Regional Conference for Family Protection, held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, chairperson of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA).

Family experts and sociologists from the Arab world attending the two-day conference will formulate a unified strategy for safeguarding families from domestic violence.

Meanwhile, official figures released by the Ministry of Social Development yesterday indicate a rise in the number of reported domestic violence cases in the Kingdom.

The Family Protection Directorate handled 3,190 cases of child abuse last year, compared to around 2,500 in 2007, while the National Institute of Forensic Medicine dealt with 600 battered women in 2008, according to the figures.

“The rise in the number of domestic violence cases doesn’t necessarily indicate an upward trend, but rather an increase in public awareness on the need to report these cases,” Minister of Social Development Hala Latouf told The Jordan Times yesterday.

The conference, which concludes today, seeks to improve communication and networking techniques among Arab countries for preparing and adopting a unified Arab strategy that ensures the well-being of family members

Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Social Affairs Sima Bahous said the event will help create an Arab network for exchanging expertise on family protection.

“The conference forms a platform to admit that there is an existing family violence phenomenon and offers a chance to assert that domestic violence is unacceptable in any form…,” she said at the opening session yesterday.

Underscoring the importance of the conference in light of the “tragic conditions” Palestinians families are undergoing, Bahous noted that the “criminal Israeli war machine” has violated their rights, destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure and left a humanitarian and psychological crisis.

“It [the war] will impact Palestinian families for many years to come and will definitely increase the number of domestic violence cases in the future, necessitating our special care and attention to tackle the issue,” she added.

Participants from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Oman and Mauritania are attending the conference.

NCFA Secretary General Haifa Abu Ghazaleh said despite the noticeable improvement in the situation of Arab families, they still face challenges.

“There is a dire need to unify Arab efforts in combating domestic violence… joint Arab coordination is the cornerstone for improving women’s status,” she pointed out.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Sheikh Faisal Al Hmoud Al Malek Al Sabah, who attended the opening, noted that violence is “a rejected word in the Kuwaiti community”, noting that the government is taking various measures to tackle the issue, especially violence against women.

“Women are half the society; there is no way for any country to prosper unless women are granted their full rights and protected,” he told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Nader Dahabi met with the participating Arab social development ministers and heads of delegation, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

During the meeting, the premier highlighted the importance of tackling the issue of domestic violence and its impact in improving families’ quality of life.