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December 8 2021 11:19 AM ˚
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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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October represents domestic violence awareness month set forth by the Domestic Violence Awareness Project. Domestic violence is a complex issue with many legal and social implications. In honor of spreading awareness, we would like to bring attention to all the forms of domestic violence and share statistics from Jordan.اضافة اعلان

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is intimate partner violence or violence that occurs in familial relationships. Domestic violence comes in many forms, but the overarching reason is for the abuser to assert control over another person. 

This can take the form of controlling behavior such as checking the other person’s phone, setting curfews, and manipulation. It may also come in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, isolation, financial abuse, and verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse is commonly paired with other forms of abuse and is usually the first step in an abusive relationship. It ranges from manipulation and derogatory statements to offensive statements or threats.

Physical abuse is any physical behavior, withholding of physical needs, indirectly physically harmful behavior, or the threat of physical abuse. Physical abuse includes hitting, beating, and smacking. 

Withholding of physical needs is complicated and may be harder to spot. It includes depriving the other person of basic needs such as sleep and food. Indirect physically harmful behavior may consist of damaging property and threatening physical abuse, which may be as extreme as holding a weapon to an individual.

Sexual abuse is using sex in an exploitative or forceful manner. Sexual abuse is not only physical. It may be used in a manipulative measure to control the other person. This includes jealously invoked false accusations of infidelity used to taunt the victim and using sex as a control mechanism either by forcing victims to have sex or withholding sex as a means to manipulate them emotionally.

Emotional abuse and intimidation can be considered sexual abuse. Emotional abuse is any behavior that exploits another person’s vulnerabilities, insecurities, or character. Emotional abuse tends to focus on attacking the victim’s sense of self-worth.

Isolation is a form of abuse that stems from controlling behavior and results from repeated patterns of abuse. This abuse is the most severe extent of control and comes after the individual has been manipulated, degraded, and ultimately brainwashed. 

Finally, financial abuse is a way to control another person by controlling the economic resources available to them.

Abuse and domestic violence rarely present themselves as one form. Instead, they are more commonly a combination of other forms of abuse. For example, physical abuse may be more apparent to bystanders due to visible bruises, scratches, and marks. However, other forms of abuse may be harder to spot.

Who is affected?

Regardless of gender, age, class, or race, no group is exempt from domestic violence. For example, in the UK, male victims consist of 40 percent of all domestic abuse victims. In other countries, this number may be even higher.

Domestic violence is commonly thought of as a male perpetrator and a female victim. However, the truth is anyone can experience domestic violence, whether it is a female perpetrator and male victim, parent perpetrator and child victim or vice versa, or even a host family perpetrator and worker victim in the case of maids.
 
Domestic violence in Jordan

A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009 found that 97.2 percent of Jordanian women experience at least one form of control. 
The most common form of control was not allowing dialogue or restricting sharing opinions on issues that affect the family; approximately 84.3 percent of Jordanian women were experiencing this. 

Additionally, it was found that 57.5 percent of women were in a relationship where their partner would get angry if they spoke to another man.

Furthermore, 43.7 percent of women were insulted by their partner or made to feel bad about themselves, and 22 percent of women were belittled or humiliated in front of others.

While these forms of control may seem mundane, they could potentially lead to psychological abuse.

The presence of “honor killings” is of great concern in Jordan. According to Human Rights Watch, it was estimated that 15 – 20 “honor crimes” occurred in 2017. 

Legislation concerning honor crimes may be seen as ambiguous or favoring the family of the abuser instead of the victim. In addition, some articles restrict the scope of punishment in terms of crimes of passion or adultery. 

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