Why is domestic abuse so widespread in Russia – and are its causes culturally specific? Slide 1 Domestic violence is one of the main causes of women's suffering and even death. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this topic has often been passed over in silence all over the world. However, in the past 10 years, things have changed: women have begun to make their voices heard, and have finally started seeking help. But is this true for women in Russia? Slide 2 First we need to define what constitutes domestic violence. The Department of Health defines domestic violence as “a continuum of behavior ranging from verbal abuse, physical, sexual assault, to rape, and even homicide." This definition includes such violence as violence in dating, animal abuse, child abuse, violence in same-sex families, violence between intimate partners, as well as violence between neighbors and friends. This paper focuses on domestic violence between intimate partners, both married and unmarried. Slide 3
According to the Ukrainian TV channel "Inter,” “every third woman in the world at least once in her life has been physically abused.” In the Ukraine, as well as in Russia, this figure is much higher; every second woman at least once becomes the victim of domestic violence. For example, according to the Acting Head of the Department of Public Order of Russia, General-Lieutenant Michael Artamoshkina, every fourth family in Russia experiences some type of domestic violence and two-thirds of homicides are due to family and domestic reasons. To give a sense of the scale and severity of the disaster, which in Russia is simply called "family problems,” about 14 thousand women die at the hands of their husbands or other relatives and 40 percent of all serious violent crimes annually are committed within families. Just to compare the scale, it should be noted that within 10 years of war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, 14 thousand people were killed. The incidents of domestic violence in Russian families are increasing year after year. In addition to this, we should take in consideration all the children that are witnessing domestic violence in their families who experience severe trauma, which they may then transfer to their future families. As a result, every year 50 thousand children leave their homes and 2 thousand children commit suicide. Slide 4
This reminds me of the popular English phrase, "My home - my castle,” which is translated to Russian as “Мой дом – моя крепость,” meaning the security, reliability, and peace of mind that are being obtained not just through the walls of the house but mostly through family, mainly the spouse. At the same time there is a Russian saying: “Бьет – значит любит,” which means, “Beating is a sign of loving,” which possibly serves as another reinforcer or an excuse for domestic violence in Russia. Slide 5 Video
Domestic violence doesn’t necessarily cause physical damage. There are several types of domestic violence between two intimate partners: * emotional abuse, such as humiliation, which damages self-esteem, verbal abuse, rudeness, instilling the idea that a woman plays the role of a bad wife and mother; * economic violence where the partner doesn’t allow the woman to work, forcing her to ask for money, and, therefore, lowering her self-esteem; * sexual abuse, which is forcing the partner to have a physical relationship; * physical violence, which is the most common and includes beating, slapping, using weapons, etc.; * threats such as threats to take the children or commit suicide; * bullying, which can be presented in the forms of intimidation through gestures, actions, destroying household items; * manipulation of children such as instilling a sense of guilt in front of children, using children to manipulate; and finally * isolation which is a continuous monitoring of what a woman does, whom she can be friends with, with whom she...
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