Thesis on Domestic Violence against Women in A Semi Urban Area In Dhaka City

Violence against women is not a myth but a reality. It can be defined as injurious and destructive behavior, which damages the victims' physically, mentally, and financially. It has surrounded a women's life from cradle to grave, and has become a routine behavior. The on going rate of violence against women is a serious threat to the development and progress of Bangladesh that the country has a yet achieved. Widespread violence and repression in numerous forms jeopardized women's life in almost all parts of the country.

Violence against women is now defined very broadly to include any act involving use of force coercion with an intent if perpetuation promotion of hierarchical gender-relations in all social structures: family, community, workplace and society (APWLD; 1990). Defined this way, it includes any violation of women's basic rights on the ground of gender as an act of violence.

The United Nations commission on the status of women defines violence against women to include any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm of suffering to women, including threats of such acts; coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life [Economic and Social Council; 1992.

Another definition is any act of commission or omission by individuals or the state, in private or public life, which brings harm, Faring or threat to girls and women, and reflects systematic.

Discrimination including, harmful traditional practices and denial of human rights because of gender" (Ruth Finney Flay ward, Breaking the Earthenware Journal, UNICCF, 1993:10).
Domestic violence is the most pervasive and widespread form of violence against women in our society. Domestic violence encompasses physical coercion, psychological intimidation and use of force by one member of the family to compel another into submission and subordination. It extends from rejection by family members to emotional and physical torture. The definition of Violence against Women provided under the Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW) is internationally accepted and the first part of the definition is actually related to domestic violence. According to DEVAW- " Domestic Violence means any physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry related violence, marital rape, female genital multination and other traditional ; practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation." To be more specific, the in-laws subject women to violence at the hands of their husbands, or other members of the women's family are recognized as the victims of domestic violence. Women in Bangladesh face different types of domestic violence. Some of the most pervasive and harmful practices in Bangladesh are - wife-beating, torture by in-laws, torture by family members, dowry related violence, polygamy, high risk pregnancy, marital rape and rape by intimate male relations. At present time, the most dangerous form of violence is acid throwing for family conflict. This type of violence is increasing in all the countries of the world family members do it for family dispute over non- payment of dowry or disobedience, disrespect shown to husband or the in-laws in Bangladesh. Often these are reported as accident or suicide.
Unmarried young girls are often the targets of frustrated suitors. Stringent laws have been enacted recently in Bangladesh but so far no noticeable change has occurred (Women For Women: 1997)

Violence against women has been identified as one of the priorities areas of that calls for! Undertaking study and action immediately. In south Asian region, violence has assumed, multi-dimensional forms, such as, trafficking in women and girls', domestic violence, Sexual abuse, violence at work place, forced prostitution, child abuse etc. Recent addition to the already manifold problem is 'Fatwa'. On the other hand, media reports reveal that incidence of violence is growing rapidly not only in South Asia but also in the world at large. Violence against women becomes one of the most visible and articulated social issues. The issue was in Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies in 1985 and in Beijing Platform for Action in 1995.Beijing Platform for Action states that, "In all societies to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls' arc subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuses that cuts across the lines of income, class and culture. The violence against women is a matter of concern to all states and should be addressed". Violence has been identified as a priority issue on the global basis.

In Bangladesh most of the family is mainly patriarchal and matrilineal and the region is well know for the kinds of in egalitarian under relations that are related with gender violence. Women are defined as inferior, husbands are assumed to 'own' women, and to have the right to dominate them, if necessary by using force. Domestic violence is thus deeply embedded in patriarchal norms and attitudes about gender relations in Bangladesh. These attitudes are reinforced by lack of government initiatives.