Intimate Partner Violence against women

Tuen Yi Jenny CHIU, Yuk Ping, Susanne CHOI

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Abstract

Violence against women is considered a major public health problem and the most pervasive yet under-recognized violation of human rights (Ellsberg and Heise 2005; WHO and LSHTM 2010). Not only does violence cause mortality and a wide range of physical, mental, sexual reproductive, and maternal health problems, it also results in isolation, inability to work, loss of employment and wages, limited ability to provide childcare, high utilization of health care, and increased use of social services (WHO 2011). Until recent years, violence against women was regarded as a kind of gender-based violence rooted in inherently unequal gender power relations, and international bodies have come to recognize the eradication of gender-based violence via a gender mainstreaming approach as essential for gender equality and empowerment (Tang 2009). It has been found that violence against women is associated with women’s low social status (WHO 2011) . Due to the social stigmatization of violence, it is universally under-reported (Watts and Zimmerman 2002) and has thus been overlooked by governments (Venis and Horton 2002). This review provides a profile of the prevalence of and policies concerning violence against women in Hong Kong with particular foci on intimate partner violence and sexual violence. The scope of the review covers government documents, such as policy papers and research reports, official statistics from the Hong Kong Police Force and the Social Welfare Department, reports from non-governmental organizations, and territory-wide and community-based prevalence studies conducted between 2005 and 2011. Comparisons will be made between various data sources. Official statistics compiled by governmental bodies are believed to have underestimated the problem as they rely on victims to take the initiative to report. Under-reporting is likely to occur due to social stigma and the pressure to preserve family honour and stability. In contrast, results from prevalence studies are more representative as data are collected from territory-wide or community-based surveys. The problem of under-reporting is thus reduced. Comparisons are also made between local policies concerning IPV in Hong Kong with that in other countries. Recommendations for policies regarding the prevention and intervention of violence against women are then made based on the review.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and Girls in Hong Kong: Current Situations and Future Challenges
EditorsSusanne Y. P. CHOI, Fanny M. CHEUNG
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chapter6
Pages135-167
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9789624415957
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • intimate partner violence
  • gender
  • Hong Kong
  • policies

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