Intimate Partner Violence (Ipv) In Muslim Communities

2310 words - 9 pages

Violence is prevalent throughout the world, and millions of people die every year because of this. There are many forms of violence, such as violence in war, domestic violence, violence against women (VAW), children and intimate partner violence (Krug et al., 2002:3). This paper will investigate aspects of domestic violence. Many scholars use domestic violence and violence against women interchangeably, but VAW is one form of domestic violence. The United Nations (UN) defines VAW as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life" (WHO, 2013) (Cheung et al., 1999: 2). Women are being harmed physically, emotionally, economically and psychologically on a daily basis, and reports filed regarding VAW each year are increasing rapidly. However, these reports do not represent the complete scenario, as most of the cases go unregistered or disregarded every day (Cheung et al., 1999: 2) because VAW is usually excused, allowed and overlooked (Amnesty International, 2009) (Merry, 2009: 5). Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one pervasive form of violence against women, which is usually committed by the husband or intimate male partners (Krug et al., 2002:89). This paper aims to explore patriarchal norms, social constructions and structural inequalities, which support IPV through the lens of masculinities, honor, and gender ideologies, as well as the concept of women as property in the context of Muslim communities.
IPV is defined as any kind of behavior in an intimate relationship that can have physical, emotional, sexual or psychological harm to the partner (Krug et al., 2002:89). IPV arises in all countries irrespective of cultural, economical, social or religious groups (Krug et al.,2002:89). In South Asia, gender prejudice and IPV/VAW are institutionalized at all levels: home, family, community, society, and the state (Mehta and Gopalakrishnan, 2007: 45). In a survey conducted in 24 countries, 20%-50% women reported physical violence by their intimate partners (Cheung et al., 1999: 2). Within patriarchal societies, many religious and cultural norms can be risk factor for IPV.
Religion is the basis of many cultural values (Mukhopadhyay, 1995: 15) and within patriarchal Muslim societies, the blend of religious and cultural norms can be risk factor for IPV. Islam is one of the major andocentric religions in the world. Moral codes in Muslim communities are mostly based on Islamic doctrines (Hajjar, 2004: 6). Cultures that are based on religious values usually prescribe how women should behave and what is acceptable (Mukhopadhyay, 1995: 15). Patriarchal ideology for gender relations is where male dominance is accepted and allowed as part of the natural order of things, and masculinity gets priority over femininity in almost all environments...

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