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Dec 9, 2010

As many as 23% of women abused by partners

There are many forms of abuse against women; domestic, sexual or physical. A study conducted by a relatively new organization has found that as many as twenty-three percent of women they surveyed have been abused by their partners.  And while victims may not be rushing to make reports, a higher number of persons know of victims who have suffered from domestic violence. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports on the launch of the survey entitled “E Cud Happen to any a wi”.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The Women’s Circle of Belize is a community based organization advocating to end violence against women.  The group has completed a survey to gain a better understanding of how grave the situation has gotten.

Debra Lewis, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

debra lewis

“This really was an issue that we could take on and move forward over the long term. So one of the things that we thought was important was that we need to be in the community talking to the women to find out what experiences they are having, what do they need, what do they think would help their situations and so that’s basically why we did the survey. We had decided we wanted to survey a hundred women; we ended up with a hundred and sixteen women that the two surveyors went out and did the surveys in the community. Together we looked at all the figures and we spent two very long meetings putting all the numbers together and then we took it and wrote up the report that we released today.”

The surveyors made several observations about the response of the women they interviewed, including that many of them do not fully understand what “violence against women” is.

rita douglas

Rita Douglas, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

“The ladies had to reinforce to them that violence includes domestic violence but it is also broader than that. It includes many other things that affect women like rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.”

Shiela Guiseppi, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

shiela guiseppi

“A lot of women think it’s only abuse when they are beaten physically. If he rails up with her, they don’t see that as abuse. So there are many women living in situations where there is a lot of psychological abuse but they don’t see it as a problem because “ih noh beat ah up”.”

irene buddan

Irene Buddan, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

“We interviewed one woman, who we knew had been a victim of rape but when we asked her about sexual violence, she said she knew someone it happened to. People are still scared to come forward.”

Joyce Flowers, Founding Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

“I think that it’s because of the stigma and us as women, putting down other women, that women are ashamed to say that they were victims.”

Lorna Moody, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

lorna moody

“When women feel they are dependent on a man, the often believe that they have no other choice but to live with violence and abuse. A woman says “what else can I do? I have to eat. I have to drink.”

Debra Lewis

“A lot of people feel really helpless, in terms of even helping someone that they know is being the victim of violence and that’s a real problem because sometimes I think we feel that people just always want to look the other way. But many people expressed to the surveyors in this project that they knew something was happening in their neighborhood but they really didn’t know what to do in order to give her help.”

Some of the more startling results include that twenty-three point three percent of surveyed women had been beaten by their partner and fifty-four point three percent knew someone it happened to. Six percent of those women were hospitalized because of the beatings while forty-four percent knew of others who experienced the same. In the area of sexual offences, two point six percent of participants had been raped while thirty-eight point eight percent said they knew rape victims. One point seven percent said they were sexually harassed at their job while sixteen point four percent knew other victims.

The Women’s Circle has devised a list of principles to guide their work.

Olga Gordon, Member, Women’s Circle of Belize

olga gordon

“We need to have places where women can go for support where they know their privacy will be respected. Women need to develop trust in each other when we need help. We also said we need to educate our women that they have the right to a life free from violence and control.  We also need to advocate for better laws and for better enforcement of existing laws. For example, we believe that the law should be changed to give married women equal protection in cases of rape.”

joyce flowers

Joyce Flowers

“We find from our survey that violence against women is an epidemic in our country and unless women hold hands together and do something about it then we won’t get it under control or to stop.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The group’s next project is a visual information booklet to inform women of their rights and what to do if they become victims. They are also planning an advocacy workshop on Violence Against Women.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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10 Responses for “As many as 23% of women abused by partners”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Until our society & the courts stop viewing family & domestic violence as man and woman problem, women will continue to tolerate abuse. Many parents have forced their daughters to return to abusive men because of their own ignorance. I’m glad to see us talking about it though…

  2. rootsman says:

    If this twenty three percent abuse on women is all caused by men this really looks bad for Belizean men and I would really hate to see what those numbers would look like if you include the abuse on women caused by their lesbian lovers as a large percent of Belizean women seems to be involved with some type of lesbian relationship and I have personally witnessed this same type of abuse on women by their lesbian lovers on several occasions.

  3. trikz says:

    23% is a low number the rate is higher than that…due to the fact that a lot of women are afriad or ashamed to let anyone knw what is happening to them, I believe the number is much higher than that and is a serious factor that must be addressed promptly.

  4. Earl Grey says:

    SO………………..HOW DO WE FIX IT??????

  5. horsey says:

    woman like du !@$$$ thats why..once de slip gentlemen..kill de cause u gwen da jail fu nothing,woman have all d rigths go tell lie fu u hard earn money and u get to go to jai…kill kill kill woman…….

  6. vigilante justice 316 says:

    @horsey….umbilica cord shoulda strangle you before you come into this world with a stupid mentality to beat women. No matter if a woman or man tell lies, their partner doesn’t have the right to beat them. If you’re not happy with your woman, leave her and find someone else, why say kill her. Its men like you who think that you have to beat a woman into submission that taint the gene pool and I hope you don’t reproduce. In due season it’s men like you that drive women to do the thing that Lavern “Anti-Christ” did to her common law husband…. Set him on fire!

    Women get yourselves a back bone….don’t take s#%t from men when it comes to abuse. Men may be strong but women are cunning so don’t let him control you. You are a human being not an animal to be tamed and trained by any man! If he push your forehead today and you let him think he can get away with it, better believe he will punch you tomorrow!

    @horsey, maybe you need to find yourself a man, since you have so much hate for women and seem to admire your own manliness. Maybe man is what you need to find the perfection you seem to be looking for.

  7. justice 2 says:

    I think! Thats very true of you vigilante justice!They should abuse women cause they are unique humans!think about what if there was no womens.ah!!If you start to abuse each other in both genders there will only be hurting each other but women should not be abused in any ways because they are important!get you sense right men!

  8. peace and love says:

    if we continue to encourage our females to break the silence then there may not be an increase on any form of abuse against our women. Women speak up we are the homemakers and society builders. Our world depends on you. We are the creators of the future.

    Further more we are not to take or listen to bul@#t from persons like horsey probably he forgot he came from a woman nuh.

  9. He is merciful says:

    peace and love i agree with you, i surprise some man no one talked about how woman abuse man. Just the other day me see one the drag and pull her man, that dah thing got me the laugh up to today. The woman the beat the man and the man say stop the pull me up. lol

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    horsey:I no deh with you pan that. Have you heard the song sweet Belizean Girl?Zero tolorance when it comes to abusing any human being.

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