Women too scared to report abuse: study

Women too scared to report abuse: study

Sera De Vor ANKARA
Women too scared to report abuse: study

A group of women in a women’s shelter in central province of Konya protested violence against women yesterday by wearing white costumes representing death. DHA photo

One out of three women in Turkey has been physically or sexually abused, but 92 percent have not reported this to authorities, according to a report revealed yesterday by the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

The report said even effective laws protecting women’s rights have failed to fully stamp out abuse, pointing to the United States and European countries, and emphasized the importance of education.
“The government’s first goal is to pass laws, because it is the most visible form of action. While legal regulations are necessary, what matters is a mental transformation. Education, starting from preschool, must highlight equality between men and women,” USAK’s Dilek Karal said.

Education level

While women with all levels of education are subject to domestic abuse in Turkey, statistics reveal that cases of abuse decrease as the male’s education level increases.

The risk of domestic abuse, however, doubles in households where women earn more than men, with two out of three women in this category admitting to being abused.

Women who are separated or divorced from their husbands are at a higher risk, with seven out of 10 revealing they had been abused.

Official statistics indicate 92 percent of women have not reported cases of abuse, with barely half admitting it to family and friends. Only 4 percent have filed complaints with authorities.

Murders of women in Turkey have increased 1,400 percent, from 66 in 2002 to almost 1,000 in 2011, the report said.

Turkey is the only country in the world where nearly five women die every day over their rights to live, work, marry and divorce, read a letter to Parliament by the End Violence Platform, representing 237 women’s organizations.

USAK compiled the statistics cited in the report from the Directorate General on the Status of Women, the Ministry of Justice, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, as well as local independent studies.