Domestic Violence Emotional and Physical

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I use hegemoni prespective to explain cultural practices towards women in Pakistani context. HEGEMONY is the leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation. The cultural practice that I am going to discuss is the Violence Against Women that is commonly consider a norm in Pakistan.

Intimate partner violence refers to behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors.

Sexual violence is 'any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.'

Violence Against Women

This has been defined as the range of sexually, psychologically, and physically coercive acts used against women by current or former male intimate partners. Some of the other terms that are used to describe the issue include intimate partner violence, courtship violence, domestic violence, domestic abuse, spouse abuse, battering, and marital rape.

In Pakistan, domestic violence is considered a personal matter, as it occurs in the family, and therefore not an appropriate focus for assessment, intervention or policy changes. Women have to face discrimination and violence on a daily basis due to the cultural and religious norms that Pakistani society embraces. According to an estimate, approximately 70 to 90% of Pakistani women are subjected to domestic violence. Various forms of domestic violence in the country include physical, mental and emotional abuse. In addition, the influence of media may also increase the likelihood of violence against women. It has been observed that this norm is a common theme on movies, television, radio, stage, and has even been emphasized in newspaper and tabloids.

Intrinsic Factors

Biological and personal factors influence individual behavior. This includes personal characteristics like age, education, income, personality influences and acceptance of interpersonal violence. The effects of the factors like substance abuse, witnessing marital violence as a child, being abused as a child, absentee or rejecting father on the personality of a person are also considered intrinsic factors.

Studies have shown that younger women are more susceptible to experience violence. In a cross-sectional study, no association was found between the younger age and prevalence of domestic violence in Pakistan. As far as the Pakistani culture was concerned, age of the women did not play any role in protecting her from domestic violence. Therefore, women abuse occurs in all ages. Women whose educational attainment levels are inferior to those of their husbands are more likely to suffer beating and intimidation than those women whose educational attainment levels are equal or exceed their husbands. In Pakistani cultures are close knit and tribal, where parents and elders are the role models. Therefore, if the father beats his wife then his son would beat his wife. When parents/elders beat their daughters then their sons beat their daughters. As this phenomenon is very common in this society, it is one of the major determinants of domestic violence.

Health consequences

Intimate partner (physical, sexual and emotional) and sexual violence cause serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for women. They also affect their children, and lead to high social and economic costs for women, their families and societies. Such violence can:

 Have fatal outcomes like homicide or suicide.

  •  Lead to injuries, with 42% of women who experience intimate partner violence reporting an injury as a consequence of this violence.
  •  Lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynaecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 2013 analysis found that women who had been physically or sexually abused were 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection and, in some regions, HIV, compared to women who had not experienced partner violence. They are also twice as likely to have an abortion.
  •  Intimate partner violence in pregnancy also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies. The same 2013 study showed that women who experienced intimate partner violence were 16% more likely to suffer a miscarriage and 41% more likely to have a pre-term birth.
  •  These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, and suicide attempts. The 2013 analysis found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence were almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking.
  •  Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health.
  •  Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviors in later life. It is also associated with perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).

Extrinsic Factors

these constitute the context within which the abuse takes place. These factors include male dominance in the family, male control of wealth, and marital/ verbal conflict. Other factors include employment opportunities, economic influences, women access over power and resources, social support network and societal norms regarding gender roles, and power hierarchies.

Male dominance is frequently mentioned as a determinant of the domestic violence. Decision making authority makes the man more dominant in the family and society and increases the likelihood of violence against women.

Studies have found that unemployment increases the risk of depression, aggressiveness and violent behaviors which in turn can result in an increased risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. As unemployment is one of the big problems in the country, it is one of the important determinants of the violence against women.

Economic independence of the people in any society has an impact on women. If the women are allowed to work and are economically independent, they are less likely to become the victims of violence. However, the statement cannot be generalized, as the studies have shown that economic independence of the women does not protect them from domestic violence. In some places especially urban areas women have been encouraged to work outside the house and contribute to the economy of the family. However, it is considered as a privilege granted by men. It is 'permission' and not a right. Economic independence could be a sign of women getting power, which is not acceptable in many societies. Therefore, when the women try to be economically independent, the men try to regain the control by violent acts.

In the patriarchal societies such as Pakistan, 'sons are perceived to have economic, social, or religious utility; daughters are often felt to be an economic liability…” Studies have revealed that women who have more daughters are more likely to suffer from violence than the women who have more sons. In a similar manner, women who do not have children are subjected to not only violence by their husbands and in-laws, but are harassed by the society as well.

Marriage at an early age is another factor, which predisposes women to violence by intimate partner. Early marriages are a very common practice in the Southeast Asian countries particularly in Pakistan as the girls are considered a social, economical and religious liability on the families, which needs to be disposed off as soon as possible. Research reports have indicated that marriage at a young age makes women vulnerable to abuse in the husband's home. Furthermore, the practice of dowry also plays an important role in precipitation of violence against women in the country. According to literature, women whose dowries are perceived inadequate, by their husband and in-laws, suffer considerably more harassment in the husband's home than do women whose dowries are more substantial.

Historically, in the Indo-Pak's tribal and rural cultures, women were treated as the property of men. Role of woman has been submission, to serve as a commodity and to sacrifice herself for the sake of values determined by man. When there used to be disputes between tribes, goats, sheep and women were traded for reconciliation. Marriages, for political and tribal peace were common. Similar practices are still ongoing and many families do not allow their women to marry in case someone out of the family would share their ancestral lands. These restrictions are applied to control women from inheriting land, property and precluding their offspring's, from another man, to inherit the family land and influence. She is beaten and killed, for the sake of man's ethics and man-made values.

If a woman is respected in a culture, she is less likely to be abused and beaten. It is important to note that in many countries like Pakistan, one of the very interesting phenomenon is that older women are respected but the young women are not. This does not necessarily mean that older women are not abused. Wife beating is even considered normal in the culture and therefore, is unreported.

Unfortunately, Pakistani and Indian societies still run on tribal and feudal system and the most of the population lives under rural and feudal control. In feudal system, there is no education; no freedom and women are treated like slaves or prisoners in the households making violence against women in these societies very common.

Prevention and response

There are a growing number of well-designed studies looking at the effectiveness of prevention and response programmes. More resources are needed to strengthen the prevention of and response to intimate partner and sexual violence, including primary prevention – stopping it from happening in the first place.

There is some evidence from high-income countries that advocacy and counseling interventions to improve access to services for survivors of intimate partner violence are effective in reducing such violence. Home visitation programmes involving health worker outreach by trained nurses also show promise in reducing intimate partner violence. However, these have yet to be assessed for use in resource-poor settings.

In low resource settings, prevention strategies that have been shown to be promising include: those that empower women economically and socially through a combination of microfinance and skills training related to gender equality; that promote communication and relationship skills within couples and communities; that reduce access to, and harmful use of alcohol; transform harmful gender and social norms through community mobilization and group-based participatory education with women and men to generate critical reflections about unequal gender and power relationships.

To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact and enforce legislation and develop and implement policies that promote gender equality by:

  •  ending discrimination against women in marriage, divorce and custody laws
  •  ending discrimination in inheritance laws and ownership of assets
  •  improving women’s access to paid employment
  •  developing and resourcing national plans and policies to address violence against women.

While preventing and responding to violence against women requires a multi-sectoral approach, the health sector has an important role to play. The health sector can:

  • Advocate to make violence against women unacceptable and for such violence to be addressed as a public health problem.
  • Provide comprehensive services, sensitize and train health care providers in responding to the needs of survivors holistically and empathetically.
  • Prevent recurrence of violence through early identification of women and children who are experiencing violence and providing appropriate referral and support
  • Promote egalitarian gender norms as part of life skills and comprehensive sexuality education curricula taught to young people.

 Generate evidence on what works and on the magnitude of the problem by carrying out population-based surveys, or including violence against women in population-based demographic and health surveys, as well as in surveillance and health information systems.


In this we observe that how women is influenced by the domination of patriarchal society in different aspects of life. By keeping women sub-ordianate, their health also effects badly. The main aspect that I have taken is the violence against women that is now become a norm of our culture. Masculinity is leading in our culture that is keeping femininity beyond our expectations.

Health of women is also badly effected through the violation of women. We have observe violence against women in domestic and economic sector both. We also see the precautions to over come the violence in our Pakistani context.So that women should get rid of such practices that are made by man to keep women submissive. 

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Domestic Violence Emotional and Physical. (2022, Feb 05). Retrieved April 23, 2024 , from

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