The global statistics show that up to six out of ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lives. World Health Organization (WHO) studies of 24,000 women in different countries have shown that the prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence from a partner varies from 15 percent in urban Japan to 71 percent in agrarian Ethiopia. In most countries, this data is between 30 and 60 percent (Devries et al., 2013). Since the early 1990s, many European countries conducted national studies on the prevalence of physical, sexual, and psychological violence against women. They found that women were subjected to violence mainly by present or former partners and, to a lesser extent, from acquaintances or strangers in other circumstances. The Council of Europe lists the following data for Europe: one-fifth to one-fourth of all women were physically abused at least once in adulthood, and more than one-tenth suffered from sexual violence with the use of force (Dartnall & Jewkes, 2013). At the same time, the level of violence against women is higher in low-income countries and urban areas compared to those with high income and urban regions (Rennison, DeKeseredy, & Dragiewicz, 2013).
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The response of the criminal justice system differs across countries, yet several international regulations speculate the rights of women and their position in terms of the specified problem. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with a view to their continued fair and effective implementation of policies may be noted among the most significant regulations. Tam, Dawson, Jackson, Kwok, and Thurston (2013) claim that model policies and practical measures should be implemented by all countries and legal entities without prejudice to the principle of equality between men and women before the law and to encourage governments within the criminal justice system to combat various forms of violence against women.
Even though over the past twenty years there has been a lot of work done to counteract violence against women, there is still no systematic approach to solving it at the state level. The United Nations (UN) organization is deeply concerned with the high level of violence experienced by women in the family, the number of women killed, and the latency of sexual violence. Meanwhile, international legal practice tends to ensure that justice in cases of family brutality is guided primarily by the nature of acts of violence, and not the relationship between a rapist and his victim.
More to the point, domestic violence by a husband poses a serious threat to the life and health of a woman as she is often forced to live with him in one house even after a divorce or during an investigation. If with a criminal who committed an act on the street, the victim can meet only in the police or in the court, the woman, who suffered from domestic violence, meets with the accused person every day in their apartment (Bridges, 2013). The accused in this case knows the victim’s place of residence, those of her relatives and friends, and the address of her work, which creates additional conditions for the prosecution of the victim or for exerting brutal pressure on her. In other words, Rennison and Addington (2014) note that the trend for the given issue is that specific laws and regulations are required to protect women from violence, while the existing norms should be enhanced.
Bridges, K. M. (2013). When pregnancy is an injury: Rape, law, and culture. Stanford Law Review, 65, 457-516.
Dartnall, E., & Jewkes, R. (2013). Sexual violence against women: The scope of the problem. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 27(1), 3-13.
Devries, K. M., Mak, J. Y., García-Moreno, C., Petzold, M., Child, J. C., Falder, G.,… Pallitto, C. (2013). The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science, 340(6140), 1527-1528.
Rennison, C. M., & Addington, L. A. (2014). Violence against college women: A review to identify limitations in defining the problem and inform future research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 15(3), 159-169.
Rennison, C. M., DeKeseredy, W. S., & Dragiewicz, M. (2013). Intimate relationship status variations in violence against women: Urban, suburban, and rural differences. Violence Against Women, 19(11), 1312-1330.
Tam, D. M., Dawson, M., Jackson, M., Kwok, S. M., & Thurston, W. E. (2013). Comparing criminal justice responses to violence against women in Canada and China. Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, 23(2), 106-120.