Domestic Violence among Visually Impaired Women in the Asian Region

Prevalence of Domestic Violence Specifically Emotional Abuse among Visually Impaired Women in the Asian Region

---A Survey Study---

Conducted by the Women’s Committee,

 Asian Blind Union

                                                                 Principal Investigator

                                                 Madhu Singhal

                                                 Chair, ABU Women’s Committee

 

 

 

 

 

                                          May, 2010                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

Foreword

 

 

On 8 March 2010, International Women's Day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon spoke about the challenge we face across the world trying to end violence against women. He said, “To change the mindsets and socially ingrained habits of generations will not be easy and will take the collective force of individuals, organizations and governments.”

 

Like other girls, girls with disability in many countries are being denied many opportunities, like education, travel and employment, because of fears about their safety. Clearly, we must end the violence against women.  My challenge to all men is to acknowledge the extent and seriousness of the problem and then to give the fight to end violence against women the weight and priority it deserves.

 

Emotional abuse of women who are blind or partially sighted is an enormous problem in our society. The lack of attention to this and limited work undertaken at the international level has been clearly captured in the study.

 

A number of practical recommendations have been proposed which, if implemented, will make a difference to the lives of women who are blind irrespective of where they live.

 

The study and recommendations provide a wonderful resource to organisations and individuals around the world. Together with the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) we are well placed to make a difference in the lives of our: mothers, sisters, daughters and friends and create a safe world for all.

 

Congratulations to the ABU women’s committee on a well thought through and researched study.

 

 

07.05.2010

Maryanne Diamond

President,

World Blind Union

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

                                                                                                            Page

 

Section 1: Introduction .....................................................................1

 

Section 2: Review of literature

2.1             International Studies……………..………….……………4

2.2             Indian Studies…………………..…..………………..……7

 

Section 3: Methodology………………………………………............9

 

Section 4: Findings

4.1               India………………………………………………………12

4.2               Nepal………………………………………………...........16

4.3               Jordan……………………………………………….…….20

4.4               Yemen…………………………………………………….24

4.5              Tajikistan…………………………………………………..27

 

Section 5: Interpretation & Discussion

5.1               Overall Level of Emotional Abuse……………….……...33

5.2               Country-Wise Analysis of Abuse………………………..34

5.3               Emotional Abuse &

Education and Employment Status………………………35

5.4               Conclusion………………………………………...………35

 

Section 6: Sharing experiences………………………………………..36

 

Section 7: Recommendations…………………………………………39

 

References………………………………...……………………………41

 

Appendix I:  Emotional Abuse Questionnaire...………………..…..42

Appendix II: Supplementary Questions…………………….………46

 

 

 

                     

 

 

                    Acknowledgement

 

 

As we conclude this important project, it is our very pleasant responsibility to place on record our  deep  appreciation and  gratitude for all our  friends and well-wishers,  who have  lent us their  valuable co-operation and  support in  conducting  the present Research Project. First and foremost, we must acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to the Asian Blind Union for appreciating the importance and relevance of a project of this nature and providing us valuable financial assistance for the purpose.

 

We are also thankful to ABU Affiliates who actively participated in collection of data for the Research Study. 

 

Our thanks also go out to the five investigators who worked in India, Jordan, Nepal, Tajikistan and Yemen for interviewing 200 visually impaired ladies in their respective countries. 

 

We can not forget the visually impaired women who participated so actively in the project and made this Research Study a success.

 

We place on record our gratitude to the President, World Blind Union, Mrs. Maryanne Diamond for writing foreword of this Research Study.  My thanks are also due to Ms. Rachita Bisht, a women activist and social scientist, for making a review of the Research Study and for giving some valuable suggestions to make the Study meaningful.  My sincere gratitude is also due to Ms. Meena Jain and her colleague Mrs. Sujatha Ranganathan who helped us from the very beginning to conduct the Research Study. 

 

I can not forget to thanks all staff members at Mitra Jyothi especially Ms. Sundareswari Venkatesan for extending valuable support in finalizing the Research Study.

 

It is our earnest hope that this project would be viewed by all concerned in its proper perspective and would be of help in enabling ABU Affiliates and other organizations to frame the policies in their organizations in respect of visually impaired women.

 

 

                                                                                                            ------Ms. Madhu Singhal

                                                                                                                   Principal Investigator

 

 

 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

Domestic violence among women with visual impairment is undoubtedly a human rights issue and a serious deterrent to development. The phenomenon of domestic violence is widely prevalent but has remained largely invisible in the public domain.

The rationale of the study is to be viewed in the background of the fact that nearly half of the visually impaired population in developing countries consists of girls and women. Rightly does the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (UNCRPD) have a full Article              (Article 6) concerning women with disabilities. The Article recognizes that “Women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination.” Domestic violence including emotional abuse is both the cause and consequence of such ‘multiple discrimination’. UNCRPD , therefore, calls upon States Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure that full development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of ‘ guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the present Convention.’ It is in this specific context that the present study assumes particular relevance and significance.

 

The need to conduct this study is to establish the prevalence of emotional abuse in women with visual impairment and to make suitable recommendations to the Governmental agencies in the Asian Blind Union region, based on which women with visual impairment can avail care and protection. Each woman irrespective of the country she belongs to and irrespective of her being able or disabled has the right to safeguard her dignity which is her basic fundamental right as a citizen of any country. She has the right to seek supportive services, compensations and rehabilitative care under the mainstream women-related laws under the legislations dealing with persons with disabilities.

 

There have been virtually no studies which have examined the existence of emotional abuse or the feasibility or effectiveness of interventions /support services for women with visual impairment across the Asian region, so far.

 

Violence of different kinds that occurs within a household is referred to as domestic violence. The various types of domestic violence experienced by women with visual impairment can include:

 

  • Hitting, kicking, pushing, scalding with lit cigarettes.
  • Threats-- such as threatening physical harm or threatening to have the woman sent away from her home, scaring her about the children / pets.
  • Using foul language to criticize, humiliate or insult.
  • Taking possession of the woman’s assistive aids against her wishes and damaging them.
  • Looking after her in cruel ways like giving her a bath using cold water in cold season, not giving medications or food to the woman.
  • Making unwanted sexual advances, molestation / rape.
  • Making decisions on the woman’s behalf without asking for her consent.
  • Managing and controlling the woman’s finances without her consent, not giving her money or not allowing her to shop for herself.
  • Not allowing the woman to meet her family, friends and support services.


Compared to women without disabilities, women with visual impairment are more likely to experience emotional abuse, for more extended periods of time. Some of the many reasons for this include:

  • Myths / stereotypes in the society- people with VI are often dismissed as submissive, non-assertive, ignorant, and cumbersome. These prejudices tend to make people with VI less visible to the society, and consequently suggest that abuse, especially emotional abuse, is unlikely.
  • Helplessness –women with visual impairment, particularly those who have been living in homes or institutions for a long time, are encouraged to be compliant and cooperative. This life situation which is controlled can make it harder for a woman to defend herself against abuse.
  • Lack of knowledge about sexuality – dissemination of information about sex education to women with visual impairment is unheard of. If a woman with no knowledge of sex is abused, it is harder for her to seek help because she may not understand exactly what is happening to her and she may get emotionally harassed.
  • Dependency - the woman may be dependent on her emotional abuser for care because of her disability which limits her economic, social and environmental freedom.
  • Helplines - Helplines/local authorities may misinterpret a cry for help by a woman as general fear and anxiety rather than signs of abuse. In other situations, visually impaired women may not be aware or sensitive to the signs of domestic violence which also include financial or emotional abuse.
  • The control freak - if the woman goes out to seek protection, follow-up may be difficult because the abuser isolates and prevents her from using the phone or leaving the house.

 

Some of the many reasons why women with visual impairments may not seek help from authorities and support agencies include:

  • Guilt associated with fear or shame.
  • The woman may feel that she deserves to be abused because she is disabled.
  • She may lack awareness of her fundamental rights or that there are laws to protect her.
  • She may not realize that the treatment she is receiving is abusive, because she has been treated this way her whole life.
  • She may continue to stay on with her abuser as this may seem like a slightly better option when compared to poverty, homelessness or institutionalization.
  • She may think that police authorities and judicial courts don’t take domestic violence as seriously as other kinds of violence or crime.
  • Previous bad experiences with authorities - for example, a woman with visual impairment may have had an upsetting experience with police in the past, which is why she won’t consider contacting them for any assistance.
  • Social seclusion -- for example, the abuser may not allow her to use the phone or leave the house.
  • Lack of access to information, because the abuser chooses to withhold information from her, out of fear of negative outcomes which will impact their life ahead. For example fear of being punished by the abuser for reporting the violence, fear of being shamed, punished or shunned by her family, friends and community, fear of loss - she may be afraid of losing her home or having her children taken away from her.
  • She may also presume that no one would believe her or that no one would be able to help her.

 

 It is quite obvious from the reasons mentioned above that a woman with visual impairment who is being abused  by the caregiver or any other member of the society in the  form  of physical, emotional or financial abuse experiences a state of emotional trauma and great helplessness. The stress experienced by her is doubled by the facts that firstly she is a woman and secondly she is visually impaired.  It is all the more important for her to get help, assistance and support to be able to live a confident and dignified life. But, we notice that such women find it all the more difficult to get help and the reasons may include:

  • Policies on disability usually rely on family members taking care of the person, which is critical if the caregiver is also an abuser.
  • The woman is denied information and access to helpline systems as there is no specific policy for women with visual impairment.
  • The various governmental or non governmental agencies that help people with disabilities aren’t cross-referenced as thoroughly as they could be, which creates service gaps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE

There is no statistical information available in the Asian region on the rates of violence, including domestic violence, against women with visual disabilities. However, anecdotal evidence from women with disabilities about the incidence and significance of violence has been accumulating, and it is now so compelling that it cannot be ignored.

Studies and statistics on women with visual disabilities and domestic violence are very few and negligible. Thus, in this section, studies on women with various disabilities are enlisted. This is done for a better understanding of the work.

2.1 International Studies on Violence Against Women with Disabilities

To date, there has been very little research in India on the issue of violence against women with disabilities. However, various international studies have found that women with disabilities, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or class are assaulted, raped and abused at a rate of at least two times greater than non-disabled women (Sobsey, 1988, 1994; Cusitar, 1994; Stimpson and Best,1991; Disabled Women's Network (DAWN), 1988).

In her study, Sobsey (1988) has further suggested that 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. A study by the Roeher Institute(1988) states that 50% percent of women with disabilities have been sexually abused as children while  68% of girls with developmental disabilities have been sexually abused  before the age of 18. The research findings indicate that the more disabled a woman, the greater the risk of her being assaulted (Sobsey, 1994; DAWN, 1988).

Women with disabilities perform a multitude of roles--as wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, lovers, caregivers and mothers as women without disabilities do. Thus, it can be assumed that they also experience violence in all its forms, including domestic violence, like women without disabilities. The meager research which does exist, along with anecdotal evidence however suggests that violence against women with disabilities differs in significant ways from violence against other women. For instance, it seems that there are factors which make women with disabilities more likely to be targets of violence, and at the same time, less likely to receive assistance or services if they experience violence. For example:

  • Women who are dependent on a caregiver to provide for a range of their needs - from basic needs such as eating and dressing - to more complex ones such as transportation, may be more vulnerable to violence than women who don't depend on a caregiver. 
  • The control a caregiver has on the lives of women with disabilities can be misused and often the women do not have a choice. This is particularly the case where the caregiver is a spouse/partner.
  • A woman who is unable to speak out or resist may be seen as an 'easier' target for abuse.
  • Women with intellectual disabilities and women with mental health issues who are living in an institution are more vulnerable to violence because of the nature of the institutional settings.
  • Similarly, many women with disabilities are not believed in when they disclose their experiences of violence. People in positions of power such as doctors, police, caregivers, spouses and family may deny that the woman's evidence is credible.

Women with disabilities are marginalized by their disability and further discriminated against because of their gender. As Chenoweth (1993) states: 'Deeply rooted in hatred towards people with disabilities and compounded by the cultural oppression of women, abuse and violence towards women with disabilities is easier to inflict'.

Strahan (1997) asserts that the factors that lead to an increased targeting and vulnerability of disabled women and girls to sexual and domestic violence include:

  • Social isolation and segregation;
  • Low rates of education and employment;
  • Powerlessness;
  • Poverty;
  • Dependence on caregivers;
  • Ignorance that violence is criminal;
  • Discrimination;
  • Exploitation;
  • Not being believed;
  • Not knowing about services available for help;
  • A social denial that women and girls with disabilities are targets of violence;
  • Lack of accessible information about violence;
  • Lack of accessible and inclusive violence services.

Disabled survivors of domestic violence often have a difficult time escaping from their assailants. They are often financially dependent on these individuals, and the physical means of fleeing assault, such as accessible transportation, are often unavailable on short notice. Even if a disabled woman does escape, very few women's shelters are accessible. Facilities without ramps and lifts, or attendant care are not an option for women with disabilities. A woman with quadriplegia, in such an instance, could expect to find herself referred to a hospital or institution.

In addition, disabled women with children who flee abusive situations run the risk of losing custody of their children because authorities may question their ability to care for them alone.

Research on access to services for women with disabilities, who are subjected to violence, (National Committee on Violence Against Women 1993) suggests that support and legal services generally have failed to respond adequately to women with disabilities who are subjected to violence. A lack of knowledge of disability in general, and the needs of women with disabilities in particular, often prevents service providers from effectively supporting women with disabilities after they have been subjected to violence.

The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services in the year 1987 surveyed 62 women and found that compared to the women without disabilities,  more of the women with disabilities had been battered as adults ( 33% versus 22%) , but fewer had been sexually assaulted as adults ( 23% versus 31% ).

 

Another study by The Disabled Women’s Network of Canada (1989) surveyed 245 women with disabilities and found that 40% had experienced abuse and 12% had been raped. Perpetrators of the abuse were primarily spouses and ex-spouses (37%) strangers (28%), followed by parents (15%), service providers (10%) and dates (7%). Not even half of these experiences were reported out of fear and dependency. Only 10% of the women had used shelters or other services, 15% reported that no services were available or that they were unsuccessful in their attempts to obtain services and 55% had not tried to contact any services.

 

Sobsey and Doe (1991) in their study analyzed 166 abuse cases handled by the University of Alberta’s Sexual Abuse and Disability project. The sample covered a wide age range (18 months to 57 years) and comprised primarily of women (82%), with 70% of them having intellectual impairment. They found that in 96% of the cases, the perpetrator was known to the Victim and in 44% cases the perpetrators were service providers themselves. Also, 79% of the individuals were victimized more than once. Treatment services were found to be either inadequate or not offered at all in 73% of the cases.

 

An extensive assessment of the sexuality/ sexual behaviour of non-institutionalized women with disabilities was conducted by the Centre for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD), through a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Health. Apart from a comprehensive assessment of emotional, physical and sexual abuse among them.  The study also covered other areas that may be associated with abuse such as sexual functioning, reproductive health care, dating, marriage, parenting issues, and the woman’s sense of self as a sexual person. The design of the study consisted of firstly, qualitative interviews with 31 women with disabilities, and secondly, a national survey of 946 women, 504 of whom had physical disabilities. Disabilities reported most frequently included spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and joint and connective tissue disorders.

 

Abuse issues emerged as a major theme among the 31 women interviewed in the first phase of this study. On analyzing the reports of abuse in those interviews Nosek (1996) found that 25 of the 31 women interviewed reported being abused in some way.  Of the 55 different abusive experiences described, 15 were of sexual abuse, 17 of physical (nonsexual) abuse and 23 of emotional abuse. The findings from the qualitative study were used to develop items for the national survey. Abuse issues encompassed more than 80 variables including type of abuse by the perpetrator and the age at which the abuse began and ended.

 

Analyses of this data by Young, Nosek, Howland, Chanpong and Rintala revealed that the prevalence of abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse, was the same (62 %) for women with and without disabilities. There were no significant differences between percentages of women with and without disabilities who reported experiencing emotional abuse (52% versus 48%), physical abuse (36% in both groups) or sexual abuse (40% versus 37%). The most common perpetrators of emotional and physical abuse for both groups were husbands, followed by mothers and then fathers. Emotional abuse by husbands was reported by 26% of women in both groups, physical abuse by husbands was reported by 17% of women with disabilities and 19% of women without disabilities. The most common perpetrator of sexual abuse was a stranger, as reported by 11% of women with disabilities and 12% of women without disabilities. Women with disabilities were significantly more likely to experience emotional and sexual abuse by attendants and health care workers. They also reported significantly longer durations of physical or sexual abuse compared to women without disabilities (3.9 years versus 2.5 years).

 

In an analysis of sexual functioning, abuse was found to be a significant predictor in women with disabilities of lower levels of satisfaction with their sex life (Nosek, Rintala, Young, Howland, Foley, Rossi and Chanpong, 1995). In various other studies, a history of sexual abuse was reported among 25% of adolescent girls with mental retardation (Chamberlain, Rauh, Passer, McGrath and Burket), 31% of girls with congenital physical disabilities, 36% of multi-handicapped children admitted to a psychiatric hospital (Ammerman, Van Hasselt, Hersen, McGonigle and Lybetsky) and 59% of women who were blind from birth (Welbourne et al). In spite of these high percentages, few women have received treatment from victim services specialists.

 

Thus, there is no question that abuse of women with disabilities is a problem of epidemic proportions that is only beginning to attract the attention of researchers, service providers and funding agencies. The gaps in the literature are enormous.

 

2.2 Indian Studies on Domestic Violence Against Women with Disabilities

 

As mentioned in the earlier section, very few studies have been conducted in India on domestic violence happening against women with disabilities. However, there has been one landmark study which has looked into the difficulties faced by disabled women in Orissa. This study is pertinent not only due to the paucity of research in this area, but also for the methodology which was employed by the researchers. The following sub-section presents the details of this study which was titled ‘Abuse and Activity Limitation: A Study on Domestic Violence against Disabled Women in Orissa, India’ and conducted by Mohapatra, S. and Mohanty, M.

 

Mapping Area: 12 districts of Orissa

Sample Size: 729 disabled women, girl child and family members

Age group: 18-40 years

Operational Definition of "violence against women" – In this study, any violent act based on the kind that results in possible or real physical, sexual or psychological harm, including threats, coercion, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life, was included. Thus, any action that affects one's freedom, personal development, well-being, privacy, or other, where any person would be permitted to feel protected by the basic civil rights, was included in ‘domestic violence’, in this study.

The study found that over 20% of mentally and physically challenged women in Orissa were raped by their own family members. Disabled women were not only harassed at work and by strangers, but also by their family. Over 12.6% physically disabled women said they had been raped and 15% complained of being sexually harassed. This frequency was higher among the mentally challenged, where 25% said they had been raped and 19% complained of other forms of sexual harassment. Nearly 20% physically challenged and 22% mentally challenged women were forced into sex in their own families. Of these, over 6% were also forcibly sterilised by their families. Besides sexual torture, these women had to undergo physical abuse and isolation. Over 50% of the women were beaten at home and not more than 40% got three meals a day.

Thus, this study brings to light the extremely harsh conditions that women with disabilities face, even in their own homes. Given the diverse background of the surveyors in this study (psychology post graduates, sociology students, social workers and NGO workers), this study has led to the generation of a large data base of case types and case studies, beyond those which might normally come to the attention by a general survey. Apart from being an eye-opener to policy makers and contributing towards the identification of a hereto neglected area of research, this study is also extremely important because it throws light on the limitations which can be a part of a study of this nature. The key limitation on surveys of this type is that they only document the cases known to the neighborhood. In many instances in India, people hide disabled members of family as it is considered a matter of shame. The other limitation is the disabled individual and her family member's unwillingness to participate. Cultural factors may also limit the degree of cooperation with the survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. METHODOLOGY

 Problem

 

To study the prevalence of domestic violence, especially emotional abuse, among Asian women with visual impairment.

 

Objectives of the Study

 

  • To identify the degree of emotional abuse prevalent in women with visual impairment in the Asian region.
  • To explore the relationship between the reported level of emotional abuse and the education and employment status of the abused women.
  • To prepare a list of recommendations including varied intervention modules and supportive services for prevention and intervention in the cases of emotional abuse.

 

There seems to be no clear evidence from earlier studies and research that educational qualification and employment affected emotional abuse significantly. 

This study focuses on emotional abuse and relates it with education and employment. Information on the above variables was collected from the participants through the Personal Information Form, which was a part of the questionnaire administered through the interview method.

Sample

 

The sample comprised of 200 visually impaired women, 40 each selected from 5 countries in Asia- India, Jordan, Nepal, Tajikistan and Yemen. The women belonged to the age group of 8-40 years.

Tools

The primary tool of data collection was a Questionnaire on emotional abuse designed for the purpose of the study. The purpose of the survey is to provide the investigator with a quick means of identifying the prevalence of emotional abuse in the participant’s relationships.

 

The questionnaire was designed as a self-report of the individual’s life and how her life has been affected by emotional abuse. It seeks to obtain more realistic information from the individual concerning her relationships with others around her.

The regional languages of the selected countries were used for the survey, in order to avoid the limitations imposed by the language barrier.

 

Description:

 

The questionnaire is designed with 19 questions on emotional abuse and covers the following dimensions: 

A)  Submissiveness or self-assertion

B)   Emotionality

 

Administration:

 

The subject is seated comfortably and is provided with the Questionnaire, which is to be administered through the interview method. To ensure comprehensive understanding of the instructions given on the first page, the interviewer should read them aloud. There is no time limit and generally the time allotted is ensured to be sufficient to answer the questionnaire completely. The subject has to furnish her personal data in the space provided for the same on the questionnaire form.

 

Instructions

 

“I will read each question carefully.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Indicate your answer to each question by telling me to put a mark 0/1/2/3/4/5 on the response. Use the question mark (?) only when you are certain that you cannot answer.  There is no time limit.  It is important that you should be quite frank in giving answers if you wish to avoid self-deception.  If you have not been living with your parents /husband, answer certain of the questions with regard to the people with whom you have been living”.

Precautions

 

It is made sure that the participant has understood the instructions properly.

The participant must be allowed to interpret the questions herself.

The interviewer must make every effort to secure complete co-operation of the participant.

She should indicate the value of the result to the subject, assuring the participant about confidentiality of the same.

The language used is simple and easy to understand.

Thus, it was ensured that the respondents did not face much difficulty in answering the questions.

The scoring pattern used for the test is objective and quantitative. Thus, inter-scorer variability is minimized.

Pilot Study

 

A pilot study was conducted with a sample size of 15 visually impaired women. This helped to establish the ease with which they could comprehend and respond to the various items in the questionnaire along with rapport formation and the time needed to build it successfully. The pilot study also helped to finalize the items to be included for further administration and an assessment of the time taken to complete it was also obtained.

 

Main Study

The questionnaire was administered to 200 visually impaired women from 5 different countries in Asia. Individual attention was paid to each participant.  They were allowed and encouraged to express their feelings and opinions freely.  All women were seated comfortably and suitable instructions to answer the questionnaire were given.  The tests were in simple English or translated into their regional language. When any query came up from them, it was responded to appropriately by interviewer.

Analysis of the results: Scoring

 

Thereafter, the responses of the participants were scored by rating each item on a 5 point scale, as follows:

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

The total number of responses (scores) for each participant was then determined and calculated to an average mean. The maximum possible score was 95.

Norms were established for the scores and higher scores were related to a greater severity of abuse. The norms were as follows:

 

Mild:  0-25

Moderate:  26-50

Severe: 51+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. FINDINGS

 

In this section, the findings of the study are presented in a country-wise manner.

4.1 India

 

Graph 1.1 depicts the age group of the women interviewed.  As can be seen from the graph and the table, the majority of the women were in the 26-35 years range and more specifically over 30 years of age.  A small percentage of women were in the 20-25 years and 36-40 years range.

 

Graph 1.1  Age- Group of Participants (India)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1.1

Age group of women interviewed-- India

 

Sl. No.

Age group

Percentage

1

20-25 years

3

2

26-30 years

34

3

31-35 years

60

4

36-40 years

3

 

 

Graph 1.2 depicts the marital status of the women interviewed.  As is evident the majority of the women were married.  However to make the research comprehensive, a few single, divorced and widowed women were also interviewed.

 

Graph 1.2  Marital Status of Participants (India)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1.2

 Marital status of women interviewed-- India

 

Sl. No.

Marital Status

Percentage

1

Single

7

2

Married

85

3

Divorced

3

4

Widow

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 1.3 Employment Status –India

 

 

 

Graph 1.3 depicts the employment status of the participants: with majority of them being employed (55%). Graph 1.4 depicts the educational status of the participants from India. 90% of the participants in the study from India were educated.

 

 

Graph 1.4 Educational Status –India

 

 

 

 

Graph 1.4 depicts the educational status of the participants from India.  90% of the participants in the study from India were educated.

 

The graph below (1.5) depicts the responses of the participants to the questions posed to them during the course of interview.  A majority of the women have experienced severe emotional abuse at some point or the other in their lives.

 

Graph 1.5 Individual Responses to Questionnaire Items

 

 

 

Table 1.3                              

Emotional abuse of women interviewed-- India

 

Sl. No.

Category

Percentage

1

Mild

3

2

Moderate

45

3

Severe

52

 

The table indicates the different percentage levels of abuse in the mild, moderate and severe categories as experienced by the women with visual impairment in India, included in the sample. The results clearly indicate on an average, the prevalence of severe level of emotional abuse against these women.

 

4.2 Nepal

 

Graph 1.6 depicts the age group of the women interviewed.  Women across all age ranges were covered for the study but as can be seen from the graph and the table, the majority of the women were in the 21-30 years range.

 

Graph 1.6  Age- Group of Participants --Nepal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1.4

 Age group of women interviewed--Nepal

 

Sl. No.

Age group

Percentage

1

Less than 10 years

2

2

11-20 years

28

3

21-30 years

45

4

31-40 years

15

5

41-50 years

10

 

 

 

Graph 1.7 depicts the marital status of the women interviewed.  As is evident the majority of the women are single.  However to make the research comprehensive, a few married and divorced women were also interviewed.

 

 

 

 

Graph 1.7  Marital Status of Participants --Nepal

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1.5

Marital status of women interviewed--Nepal

 

Sl. No.

Marital Status

Percentage

1

Single

75

2

Married

22

3

Divorced

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 1.8 Educational Status --Nepal

 

 

Graph 1.9 Employment Status --Nepal

 

 

 

Graph 1.8 depicts the educational status of the participants: with majority of them being educated (80%). Graph 1.9 depicts the employment status of the participants from Nepal. 58% of the participants in the study from Nepal were unemployed.

 

The graph 2.0 below depicts the responses of the women to the questions posed to them during the course of interview.  A majority of the women have experienced moderate emotional abuse at some point or the other.

 

Graph 2.0 Individual Responses to Questionnaire Items --Nepal

 

 

Table 1.6

Emotional abuse of women interviewed--Nepal

 

Sl. No.

Category

Percentage

1

Mild

8

2

Moderate

67

3

Severe

25

 

The table indicates the different percentage levels of abuse in the mild, moderate and severe categories as experienced by the women with visual impairment in Nepal included in the sample. The results clearly indicate on an average, the prevalence of a moderate level of emotional abuse against these women.

 

 

4.3 Jordan

 

Graph 2.1 depicts the age group of the women interviewed.  Women across all age ranges were covered for the study but as can be seen from the graph and the table, the majority of the women were below 30 years.

 

Graph 2.1  Age- Group of Participants -Jordan

 

 

Table 1.7

 Age group of women interviewed-- Jordan

 

Sl. No.

Age group

Percentage

1

20-29 years

40

2

30-39 years

35

3

40-49 years

17.5

4

Over 50 years

7.5

 

 

Graph 2.2 depicts the marital status of the women interviewed.  As is evident the majority of the women are married.  However to make the research comprehensive, a few widowed and divorced women were also interviewed.

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 2.2  Marital Status of Participants --Jordan

 

 

Table 1.8

Marital status of women interviewed--Jordan

 

Sl. No.

Marital Status

Percentage

1

Married

92.5

2

Divorced

2.5

3

Widow

5

 

 

Graph 2.3 Employment Status --Jordan

 

 

 

Graph 2.4 Educational Status –Jordan

 

 

 

Graph 2.3 depicts the employment status of the participants: with majority of them being unemployed (55%). Graph 2.4 depicts the educational status of the participants from Jordan. 77% of the participants in the study from Jordan were educated.
The graph (2.5) below depicts the responses of the participants to the questions posed to them during the course of interview.  A majority of the women have experienced moderate emotional abuse (57%) followed closely by 43% participants who had experienced severe emotional abuse.

 

Graph 2.5 Individual Responses to Questionnaire Items --Jordan

 

 

Table 1.9

Emotional abuse of women interviewed-- Jordan

 

Sl. No.

Category

Percentage

1

Mild

0

2

Moderate

57.5

3

Severe

42.5

 

 

The table indicates the different percentage levels of abuse in the mild, moderate and severe categories as experienced by the women with visual impairment in Jordan, included in the sample. The results clearly indicate on an average, the prevalence of moderate to severe level of emotional abuse against these women.

 

4.4 Yemen

 

Graph 2.6 depicts the age group of the women interviewed.  Women across all age ranges were covered for the study but as can be seen from the graph and the table, the majority of the women were in the 30-39 years range.

 

Graph 2.6  Age- Group of Participants –Yemen

 

 

Table 1.10

 Age group of women interviewed-- Yemen

 

Sl. No.

Age group

Percentage

1

20-29 years

25

2

30-39 years

47.5

3

40-49 years

22.5

4

Over 50 years

5

 

 

Graph 2.7 depicts the marital status of the women interviewed.  As is evident all the women interviewed are married.

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 2.7  Marital Status of Participants --Yemen

 

 

 

Table 1.11

 Marital status of women interviewed-- Yemen

 

Sl. No.

Marital Status

Percentage

1

Married

100

2

Divorced

0

3

Widow

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 2.8 Educational Status --Yemen

 

 

Graph 2.9 Employment Status --Yemen

 

                                                                                             

 

Graph 2.8 shows that a majority of women (73%) are uneducated. Graph 2.9 shows that a majority of women interviewed (93%) are unemployed.

 

 

Graph 3.0 depicts the responses of the women to the questions posed to them during the course of interview.  A majority of the women have experienced moderate emotional abuse at some point or the other in their lives.

 

Graph 3.0 Individual Responses to Questionnaire Items --Yemen

 

 

Table 1.12

 Emotional abuse of women interviewed-- Yemen

 

Sl. No.

Category

Percentage

1

Mild

25

2

Moderate

75

3

Severe

0

 

The table indicates the different percentage levels of abuse in the mild, moderate and severe categories as experienced by the women with visual impairment in Yemen, included in the sample. The results clearly indicate on an average, the prevalence of moderate level of emotional abuse against these women.

 

4.5 Tajikistan

 

Graph 3.1 depicts the age group of the women interviewed.  Women across all age ranges were covered for the study but as can be seen from the graph and the table, the majority of the women were in the 31 to 35 years range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 3.1  Age- Group of Participants --Tajikistan

 

 

 

Table 1.13

Age group of women interviewed--Tajikistan

 

Sl. No.

Age group

Percentage

1

18-20 years

13

2

21-30 years

40

3

31-35 years

47

 

 

Graph 3.2 depicts the marital status of the women interviewed.  As is evident the majority of the women are unmarried.  However to make the research comprehensive, married and divorced women were also interviewed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 3.2  Marital Status of Participants --Tajikistan

 

 

Table 1.14

 Marital status of women interviewed-Tajikistan

 

Sl. No.

Marital Status

Percentage

1

Single

59

2

Married

33

3

Divorced

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 3.3 Educational Status --Tajikistan

 

 

 

Graph 3.4 Employment Status –Tajikistan

 

 

 

Graph 3.3 depicts the education status of the participants: with majority of them being educated (87%). Graph 3.4 depicts the employment status of the participants from Tajikistan. 87% of the participants were employed.
Graph 3.5 depicts the responses of the participants to the questions posed to them during the course of interview.  A majority of the women have experienced moderate emotional abuse at some point or the other in their lives.

 

Graph 3.5 Individual Responses to Questionnaire Items --Tajikistan

 

 

Table 1.15

Emotional abuse of women interviewed-- Tajikistan

 

Sl. No.

Category

Percentage

1

Mild

28

2

Moderate

57

3

Severe

15

 

The table indicates the different percentage levels of abuse in the mild, moderate and severe categories as experienced by the women with visual impairment in Tajikistan, included in the sample. The results clearly indicate on an average, the prevalence of moderate level of emotional abuse against these women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On comparing the levels of emotional abuse against visually impaired women across the 5 countries of Asia, the overall picture that emerges is as follows:

                     

Table1.16

 Country-wise Level of Emotional Abuse among VI Women

Sl.No.

Country

Mild

Moderate

Severe

1.

India

3

45

52

2.

Nepal

8

67

25

3.

Jordan

0

57

43

4.

Yemen

25

75

0

5.

Tajikistan

28

57

15

Total

64

301

135

Mean Avg.

12.8%

60.2%

27%

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. INTERPRETATION & DISCUSSION

 

The present survey was conducted under the sponsorship of the Women‘s Committee of the Asian Blind Union, supervised by the All India confederation of the Blind. The survey was designed to identify the prevalence of emotional abuse among visually impaired women in the Asian region. It was carried out through interview schedules in 5 countries – India and Nepal (South Asia); Jordan and Yemen (Middle East); Tajikistan (Central Asia). The study had 40 visually impaired women participating from each country.

 

Thus, in total 200 visually impaired women were personally interviewed by the regional investigators of the concerned country. The interviews were conducted using a questionnaire which was designed for the purpose of the study.
 

5.1 Overall Level of Abuse across Asia

 

On calculating the mean scores across countries, the study found that in the Asian region, in general, (based on the 5 countries sampled), a large percentage of visually impaired women (60.2%) are undergoing moderate level of emotional abuse. Many are suffering severe emotional abuse as well (27%). Graph 3.6 depicts the level of emotional abuse prevalent within the sample of the Asian region.

 

Graph 3.6 Level of Emotional Abuse across Asian Region (as per the Sample)

 

Thus, the findings of this study corroborate the findings of most studies included in the earlier section titled, ‘Review of Literature’.  The study supports the finding that most of the disabled women have undergone abuse of different form in their lives.

 

 Based on the information collected during the interview, it is important to note that in most cases, the abusers were related to the women. During the course of the interviews, it was also identified that lack of assertiveness had led to longer periods of emotional abuse. Their limited social interaction/relationship building with the outside world had prevented them from seeking help or even communicating the occurrence of the trauma to others. Their submissive behavior especially as seen in India led them to go through continued abuse by the abuser. Culturally having learned to suppress their feelings along with being visually impaired, they did not find an outlet to release the trauma experienced. The study found that these women were lacking in mental strength and self esteem. Somewhere they had accepted that since they were disabled they were burdens and did not have the right to be like other members of the society.

 

 

5.2 Country-wise Analysis of Levels of Emotional Abuse

 

On comparing the degree of emotional abuse reported by participants across various countries, it was found that India was the only country where majority of the visually impaired women had reported the abuse to be severe (52%). This was followed by Jordan at 42.5%, Nepal at 25% and Tajikistan at 15% and Yemen at 0%.

In 4 countries (Jordan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Yemen) most participants reported the intensity to be moderate.  75% of participants from Yemen, followed by 67% from Nepal, 57.5% from Jordan, 57% from Tajikistan and 45% from India had reported experiencing moderate level of emotional abuse

 

 

Graph 3.7 depicts the country-wise analysis of levels of emotional abuse, as reported by participants in the study

 

It is recommended that further research be conducted in this area to explore, in depth, the causes of such a difference being reported across countries. This would assist in designing country or region-specific intervention modules.

 

 

Graph 3.7 Country-Wise Analysis of Levels of Emotional Abuse

 

 

 

5.3 Emotional Abuse & Educational and Employment Status

 

One of the objectives of the study was to explore whether emotional abuse is related with other variables like the education and employment status of the victims of the abuse.  A country-wise analysis showed that in the sample which consisted of 90% educated women (India), the abuse was rated to be severe by majority of the women (52%). Overall, 87% women reported severe or at least moderate abuse. At the same time, in the sample that consisted primarily of uneducated women (73% from Yemen), an overwhelming majority reported the abuse to be moderate (75%), while no participant reported the abuse to be severe. Thus, the age-old stereotype that abuse is more prevalent within the uneducated strata in the society has been proven to be a myth. In fact, when aggregate figures are considered, it can be seen that where the majority of the participants were educated, a higher percentage of participants reported severe or at least moderate level of emotional abuse. In countries where at least 75% of the participants were educated, 97% from India, 92% from Nepal, 100% from Jordan and 92% from Tajikistan reported severe or moderate abuse, as opposed to 75% from Yemen.

 

However, one of the limitations of this study was that Yemen was the only country where the sample consisted primarily of uneducated women. The comparatively lower rate of abuse reported by women from Yemen may be due to other cultural factors as well. Thus, further research would be required to explore the relationship between the two variables.

 

As far as the relationship between the employment status and the reported level of abuse is concerned, the study found that there is no clear relationship between the two. In countries where majority of the participants were employed like India at 55%, at least 97% participants reported having experienced severe or moderate abuse. At the same time, where the sample consisted primarily of unemployed women like Jordan at 55%, 100% participants reported having experienced severe or moderate abuse.

 

 

5.4 Conclusion

Thus, the findings of the study suggest that in the Asian region, in general, (based on the 5 countries sampled), a large percentage of visually impaired women (60.2%) are undergoing moderate level of emotional abuse. Also, it appears that the educational and employment status is not significantly related to the level of abuse suffered by the visually impaired women. Therefore the fact that abuse is prevalent in mostly uneducated strata of the society is a myth. It also emerged during the course of the interviews that most of the women were lacking in mental strength/will power and a strong sense of self-esteem. This may be related to their acceptance of abuse as a part of their life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. SHARING EXPERIENCES

 

Anaitha was brought up by her father and brother as her mother had passed away. She was then sent to stay with her uncle who would look after her. During her stay, she went through a lot of troubles. She was not allowed by the uncle to come out, meet people or see the world. When she was 11 yrs, her relatives started harassing her.  This led to her being abused emotionally, physically and sexually. Few years later, she came out of her uncle’s house and sought employment in an institution. There she met a young visually impaired man like her and decided to marry him by leaving the uncle’s house. A few months after her marriage, she gave birth to a boy.

 

In no time she realized that her husband had stopped going to work, had in fact started to womanize and also troubled her by demanding money. She continued to live with him with this nasty experience though he is jobless and does not contribute towards the family in any manner. 

 

She now works as a Government employee and supports the family completely.  She states that all she can do is to blame her fate and her disability for the life she is leading. She is a victim of domestic violence and does not have the courage to go and seek help from any agency or the police as she fears that she would be discouraged as she is a visually impaired woman. The economic abuse she is going through the hands of her abuser husband and to fulfill his vagabond desires are never ending for Anaitha.

 

When will she realize and get out of this trap?

Everyone around her hopes and prays she builds her courage and comes out.

 

 

 

 

 

Rani, a visually impaired young woman, was happily married and lived with her in-laws and husband who is also impaired like her. For years she remained a house wife. Her difficult times started when her in-laws demanded dowry from her and her parents.

 

Meanwhile, it was 4 years and she had not yet conceived. Many conservative Indian families think that if a woman cannot have a baby, they should get the son married again. Her in-laws said that her husband will go through a second marriage. Before anything like this could happen, she became pregnant and to her misfortune, she went through two miscarriages. This greatly affected her and she felt miserable. The third time, she delivered a boy.

  

Her in-laws took the child away from her care and did not permit the baby to be brought up by Rani. She then decided to go to work. After that, her husband stopped supporting her and gave all the money to his family. She had to give her earnings to her brother -in-law who was looking after her child, who was living with them.

 

Meantime she conceived again, but, he refused any form of support to her. She had to go through all the difficulties during pregnancy alone. With all this happening in her life, she still continues to live with husband. Both she and her husband are educated and have two normal children, however, they have not sought any supportive counseling or help so far.

 

Rani still suffers from being kept away from her children and her abuser husband believes that she deserves to be tortured. As long as she does whatever he demands, there would be no second marriage.

She continues to stay with him in hope that one day she will see her children. The question is will she ever break free……………………

 

 

 

 

 

Almelu, an uneducated visually impaired young woman, hails from a remote village in India .Due to the worry that no one will marry a blind girl; her parents married her to her maternal uncle, even though he suffered from TB.

 

While looking after him, she went through two pregnancies and had two children.  Few months later, he passed away. Her two normal children were taken away by her in-laws and she was left alone to fend for herself. Her own family also disowned her.

 

She started to look for help; someone took pity on her in the village and referred her to an organization. However, instead of rehabilitating her, the organization got her married again to a visually impaired person, who was a widower and had two grown up kids. Both Almelu and her husband worked on a daily wage basis getting 30 rupees.  Her step-children started to torture her and the husband also physically harassed her. Once during a meeting she was hit by her husband, which was witnessed by all present.

 

Now years later, she continues to live with this physical abuser. Her children from the previous marriage traced and got connected with her. She is now meeting them without her husband’s knowledge. The husband on the other hand has entered into an extra-marital affair in the village.

 

Life goes on for Almelu like this……

 

 

 

 

Vinitha, a completely visually impaired girl,  was married to a partial sighted guy. Her husband was a sexual pervert who womanized frequently. As the days passed by, she realized that he was sexually abusing his own sister who was totally blind. Though her mother-in-law knew about this, she did not do anything to stop it. The husband sexually abused her as well by forcing her to do things she didn’t want to do. Through this marriage, she has a son who is normal. Going through this entire trauma she decided to take up a job. She found one and started working for Rs.300 per month. She lives with her child and the husband comes whenever he feels like and sexually abuses her.

Meanwhile, the sister-in-law who went through sexual abuse from her brother sought help from a professional group. Even with this, she is unable to stop her brother from hurting her as the mother is supportive of her son.

 

Vinitha few months later started to live separately from her husband and in-laws. She lives with her son and goes to work. The husband makes his visits as he pleases and it is heard that he has married again.

 

Such is the story of domestic violence of Vinitha; visually impaired and repeatedly abused. She often thinks what is it that she has done to get this treatment from people who are supposed to love her and take care of her.

Who will answer her questions? She blames it on her karma and continues to live this emotionally and physically battered life.

 

 

 

Laxmi is a visually impaired girl who lived with her parents and a younger sister who were all normal. She was living a normal and happy life. It all started to get complicated when she became of marriageable age and it was time to get married and settle down. Her parents, ignorant and uneducated from a small town, decided to fix the problem in a way that would disrupt her world and would end up making her a victim of domestic violence and emotional abuse.

 

They decided to marry both sisters, sighted and the visually impaired to the same man, so that she will be protected and looked after when they are no more. Though legally and ethically it was a not a conducive arrangement, they went ahead and got both sisters married to a sighted man. From this moment on her life turned upside down.

 

She was emotionally abused both by the husband and her sister, and her life became miserable. As the days went on and things became unbearable, she sat down and took a call in her life. She packed her bags and walked out of the house. She reached an organization and took shelter, underwent a period of counseling and also rehabilitation training and gained employment. After she became financially secure and stable in her life, she sought help under the Domestic Violence Act and won the case.

It marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life.  With new found stability and confidence she now has hope, to make herself a better and happy life.

All it takes is a little initiative and courage to change things. No human being deserves to be treated second to others. One must at times fight for the basic human rights that we are all born with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. RECOMMENDATIONS

 

One of the main objectives of this study was to develop a list of suitable recommendations for the prevention and intervention in case of emotional abuse. For this purpose, a meeting was held at the organization named Mitrajyothi in Bangalore, India, on 7th February, 2010 with a group of 30 visually impaired women. The participants came from diverse backgrounds and also from different parts of India.

The principal investigator Ms. Madhu Singhal introduced the purpose of the meeting and shared the findings of the survey with everyone. She further requested all present to give their recommendations, which would be noted and included in the report.

 

The following were the submissions made by them:

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

REFERENCES

 

www.wwda.org.au/silent6.htm

 

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

 

www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/digest6e.pdf

 

disabilitystudies.syr.edu/resources/violenceandabuse.aspx

 

www.abusedwomen.org/resources.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX – I

THE QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

CONSENT FORM

 

Title of project: PREVALENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON WOMEN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN ASIAN REGION AFFECTING THEIR BEHAVIOR IN LIFE. SPECIFICALLY FOCUSED EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

 

This is to certify that, I ………………………….hereby agree to participate as a volunteer in a research project sponsored by ABU- ASIAN BLIND UNION   under the supervision of Ms. Madhu  Singhal .

 

The study and my part in the study has been adequately   explained and defined to me, and I understand the explanation. The procedures of the study have been described to me.

 

I understand that I am free to not answer specific items or questions in the interview or questionnaire.

 

I understand that any data or answers to questions will remain confidential with regard to me identity.

 

I understand that the general results of the study will be made available to me, if requested.

 

I further understand that I am free to withdraw my consent and terminate my participation at any time.

Name of the participant: …………………Signed ………………..Date:……………..

 

Name of the researcher: ………………...........Signed …………….Date:……………..

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC DATA SHEET

 

Sl. No. :

 

NAME:

 

AGE:

 

SEX: F/M

 

EDUCATION:

 

OCCUPATION:

 

EMPLOYMENT STATUS:

 

INCOME:

 

COUNTRY:

 

CITY

 

URBAN/RURAL

 

DISABILITY STATUS - TOTAL VISUAL IMPAIRMENT/LOW VISION

 

MOTHER TONGUE:

 

MARITAL STATUS:

 

RELIGION:

 

DATE OF INTERVIEW:

 

DURATION OF INTERVIEW:

 INTERVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE QUESTIONNAIRE

 

Domestic violence can be defined as ‘any abuse between intimate partners (both past and present), parents, siblings including physical, sexual, emotional, verbal and financial. Anyone could be a victim, and the abuse can affect every member of the family elders and youngsters. We would be grateful if you could spare a few moments to answer a few questions give below. This will enable us to gain a clear view of the extent of domestic abuse on women with visual impairment in ABU region, so we can in turn plan and design support and the help available for victims.

 

This questionnaire is designed to help you to decide if you are living in an abusive situation. There are different forms of abuse, and not everyone experiences all of them. Below are various questions about your relationship with your partner/parents/siblings/significant others.

 

 

 

Details of the subject:

 

Name of the person

 

 

 

 

Age

 

 

 

Members in the family

Husband

Children

Any others

 

 

 

 

 

 

Present Address

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phone Number, if any

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please use the below mentioned codes to mark your response.

1 = Never, the behavior has not occurred

2 = Threatened, you have been threatened with the occurrence of the behavior

3 = Once, the behavior has happened on one occasion

4 = Sometimes, the behavior has occurred from two to four times

5 = frequently, the behavior has occurred five or more times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          Emotional Abuse Questionnaire -

 

Are you experiencing emotional abuse and did not even realize it? 

1

Do you feel that someone in your family/friend /relative circle is emotionally hurting you?

 

2

They /Hershel tells other people that there is something wrong with you, especially your disability.

 

 

3

They /He/She says things to hurt you out of spite and anger knowing well you are visually impaired.

 

4

They /He/She frequently have told that you are sexually unattractive/inadequate and often talks about your eyes.

 

 

 

 

5

Insults your religious background or beliefs/rituals/ practices.

 

6

Humiliates you about your disability, social/economic/ethnic background.

 

7

Makes you do things that make you feel bad and dirty.

 

8

Constantly informs you that no one else would ever want you /or would look at you because you are visual impaired.

 

9

Always doubts and questions your mental state due to you being   visually impaired...

 

10

They /He/She tells other people personal information or secrets about you.

 

11

They/He/She uses abusive words and swears at you if meals or housework are not done to their liking..

 

12

. They /He/She often  makes fun or insults you. Criticize or threaten to hurt your family or friends?

 

 

13

Often questions whether your feelings of  love are  true.

 

14

They /He/she compares you   to other women who are not disabled

 

15

They /He/she intentionally says /does things to frighten you.

 

16

When your arguments goes out of control, they/he/she gets more abusive.

 

17

You get worried most when he is quiet for you do not know what he will do next .

 

18

They/He/she  takes away, your  money, drives recklessly or too fast when angry.

 

19

They/He/she checks up on you (listens to your phone calls, looks at phone bills, 

 

 

 

 

 

(Signature or thumb-impression of the                complainant/ aggrieved person

 

 

Thank you for sharing your time and experience with us.

 

ANNEXURE- II

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS

 

These questions are not a part of the original questionnaire and are to be used, if necessary.

 

I.       Sexual violence

 

  1. Does your partner force sexual intercourse, rapes or sexually assaults you?     
  2. Forced you to listen to his comments about pornography or other obscene material.
  3. Does he forcibly use you to entertain others or have sex with others?
  4. Does he pressurize you to perform sexual acts that make you uncomfortable or hurt you?
  5. Does he put you at risk for unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases?
  6. Does he withhold sex or affection?

7.  Does he threaten to disclose your relationship when you did not want it known?

8. Does he disregard your sexual needs and feelings about sex?

9. Does he force you or refuses to let you use birth control?

10. Does he make remarks about your sexual abilities in private or in front of others?

 

 

II. Economic violence

 

  1. Does he provide money for maintaining you or your children?
  2. Does he make all decisions about money without your input?
  3. Does he prohibit you from taking up employment?
  4. Does he control your paycheck?
  5. Has he forced you out of the house you live in?
  6. Does he prohibit your access to bank accounts and credit cards
  7. Does he refuse to put your name on joint assets?
  8. Does he refuse to get a job?

 

 

 

      III.    Dowry violence

 

  1. Has your partner made demands for dowry?
  2. Has he insulted you for not bringing dowry, etc
  3. If there are any other details with regard to dowry items. please respond specifically .

 

IV.     About children

 

1.   Does your partner make you feel guilty about your children?

2.   Does he use children to relay negative messages?

3.   Does he use visitation to harass you?

4.   Does he threaten to take custody of your children?

5.   Does he threaten to kidnap your children?

V.     Physical Abuse

  1. Does your partner push, grab or shove you?
  2. Does he slap or kick?
  3. Does he pull your hair?
  4. Does he threaten you with a knife, gun or other weapon?
  5. Does he tie you up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investigator :

Signature :

Date :

Place :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Interview

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Conducting Interview

  1. Occasionally verify the tape recorder (if used) is working.
  2. Ask one question at a time.
  3. Attempt to remain as neutral as possible. That is, don't show strong emotional reactions to their responses. To act as if "you've heard it all before."
  4. Encourage responses with occasional nods of the head.
  5. Be careful about the appearance when note taking. That is, if you jump to take a note, it may appear as if you're surprised or very pleased about an answer, which may influence answers to future questions.
  6. Provide transition between major topics, e.g., "we've been talking about (some topic) and now I'd like to move on to (another topic)."
  7. Don't lose control of the interview. This can occur when interviewee stray to another topic, take so long to answer a question that times begins to run out, or even begin asking questions to the interviewer.

Immediately After Interview

  1. Verify if the tape recorder, if used, worked throughout the interview.
  2. Make any notes on your written notes, e.g., to clarify any errors, ensure pages are numbered, fill out any notes that don't make senses, etc.
  3. Write down any observations made during the interview. For example, where did the interview occur and when, was the respondent particularly nervous at any time? Were there any surprises during the interview? Did the tape recorder break?