Aim to examine how degree women are subjected to men’s violence, to see the perception of women about this violence and to determine the differences of women’s perception and men’s act about this issue between three generations (grandmother, mother and child). Method in-debt interview is made with grandmother, mother and child in the same family. The data were gathered by performing face-to-face interviews in participants’ homes. I also benefit from literature, and analyze the researches which are made before.
Result I found a significant relationship among the types of violence and annual income, type of family, education and occupation level of women, education level of perpetrators, norms and cultures of society and childhood experience of emotional abuse or negligence. In the light of this interview, firstly, grandmother who is the first generation sees men’s violence, and especially husbands’ violence is very normal and necessary in some situation in order to order women, because he is the breadwinner and the one who has higher status in society and who is more powerful than women.
When we come to the second generation, with the some social, economic, politic changes and activist movements, we see change in this perception. Even there is high rate of men’s violence against women; there is higher resistance and awareness about this issue. Third generation who is feminist activist is actually doesn’t show the majority of society, but I benefit from her knowledge about this issue. She states that occupation and education level of women is significantly relevant with the violence. Women who have economic independence face no or less violence than women who is economically dependent on men.
Conclusion my study found differences between three generations about perception and act of men’s violence against women and also found many causes for that violence. I realized that as an important public health problem, domestic violence requires a multidisciplinary approach to understand its causes and plan preventive measures.
According to new statistics out by the provincial police department and prosecutors office, about 26,000 women became the victims of murder, injury, attack and threats during the first six months of 2011. Moreover, in the report prepared by Directorate of Security in Marmara region by taking into considerations the events occurred in the zone of responsibility of Police during 2010, it is stated that 71% of victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and intentional homicide are women, 17% of them are children and 12% of them are men. All these statistics and numbers are made me worried about this issue and I decided to work on it. Domestic violence against women is a serious public health concern in every community and culture (1). Domestic violence against women has drawn attention from the medical community because it has a negative and harmful impact on the mental, physical, and social health of women (2-5).
World Health Organization (WHO) has defined domestic violence as “the range of sexually, psychologically, and physically coercive acts used against adult and adolescent women by current or former male intimate partners” (6,7). It is often difficult to conduct research on violence against women, since most women are reluctant to disclose information they consider confidential and intimate. They often feel shame, fear, guilt, and do not want to be disloyal to their partners (8). Violence cannot be attributed to a single cause. According to the ecological model, factors related to violence are covered under four subtitles: 1) biological and personal factors; 2) close relationships, intimate partner; 3) the community context; and 4) the broad societal factors (3,9,10). However, this model only is not sufficient to explain violence and its characteristics.
There is a number of studies highlighting the problem of domestic violence in the developing countries (8,10-13). Some studies showed a strong association between socioeconomic status and domestic violence, indicating a significant inverse relation between the income or education level of the male partner and violence (14). Some studies reported that women with greater autonomy, higher educational level, and control over economical resources are more protected against violence (3). However, in many families the husband is the sole decision-maker and the only one in control over financial matters (2,3,15,16). Experiencing abuse or witnessing domestic violence in childhood often turns individuals into either victims or perpetrators, thus closing the vicious circle of domestic violence. According to some studies, large families or larger number of children is associated with a reduced risk of domestic violence (11,17).
It has been reported that one out of five women in South Australia has been exposed to domestic violence in forms of physical and/or sexual abuse (18). Violence against women in North America is still prevalent, with lifetime prevalence of 40%-51% (19). The rate of physical violence is higher in developing than in developed countries. The rate of women who are exposed to violence by their husbands is 45% in India, 47% in Philippines, 52% in Kenya (20). In Arab and Islamic countries, domestic violence is not yet considered a major concern, although its frequency is quite high. Surveys carried out in those countries have shown that the ratio of women who have been exposed to violence by their husbands is at least one in three women (21).
Domestic violence is an increasingly important issue in Turkey as in the rest of the world. It has gained its importance since 1970, and in the mid 1980s it was brought to the public agenda for discussion. The first collective reaction of women against violence was the march of “No Violence” campaign performed in 1987. This was followed by reactions in “Kariye Women Festival” in 1987. In Turkey, violence is perceived as a discipline tool, which lead to legitimization of violence within the family and society that reproduces and camouflages violence. There are legal provisions accepting the legitimacy of domestic violence. In Turkish Criminal Law, there is no special provision for domestic violence. It is easier for a woman to complain to the formal authorities about violence in the street than about domestic violence.
A study including 300 married women treated in the psychiatric outpatient clinic of the Hospital of Cumhuriyet University showed that domestic violence against women was highly prevalent and that women were trying to hide it (22). The study determined that 57% of women in the 16-29 age groups were exposed to physical violence. The prevalence of emotional violence was 36%, economical 32%, sexual 30.7%, and verbal 29.3%.
According to data from the Institution of Family Research (23), 35% of women in Turkey experienced physical violence from their husbands. According to the research, domestic violence was common to all socio-economical levels both in urban and rural areas. Among the causes of domestic violence reported, there were economical difficulties, temperament of the husbands, and provocation of husbands by their relatives. However, we do exactly not know which factors affect the prevalence of domestic violence in Turkey. As far as we know, there is no many research about the differences between generations about perception and act of men’s violence against women. In this study, I aimed to determine how women’s perceptions and responses and men’s acts about men’s violence against women have changed over there generations in Turkey.
Participants: The survey was conducted in Kütahya, Manisa and Ankara. I used three participants from the same family. A woman, her mother and her grandmother are used for this survey. Methods: As a research method, in-debt interview is used. I didn’t prepare questions which have strict boundaries. It was a flexible research. Actually, participants’ answers gave direction to the survey. RESULTS
The first generation who is grandmother was from, a rural area; a village which name is Saray in Kütahya. The population of this village is approximately 150-200 and most of these populations consist of old people. She is 68-year-old. She is a member of middle-class relative to the village’s economic situation. Her husband had died in 2006. She has old age pension. She has 30-dönüm-territory. Her all children (8 children) migrate the urban, work and life there. Before her children had migrated to urban and before his husband hadn’t died, number of their family member was 10. She and her husband are uneducated. She was exposed to physical and verbal violence by her father, her brother and after she married by her husband. The reasons for this violence are cultural and economic for this woman.
The second generation who is the child of the first one was from an urban area; Manisa. She is 47-year-old. She is teacher. Her husband is chemical engineer, and works in a private company. They have one child. She is graduated from university. Only she and her husband live together. She wasn’t exposed to any kind of violence apparently. However, in the light of her discourse, we can say that she accepts his husband’s superiority because of the economic and cultural reasons. The third generation who is the child of the second one was from Ankara. She is 26-year-old. She is graduated from METU; the department of psychology and now she is studying for doctorate about social psychology in METU. She has a boyfriend; their relationship is 6-year-old. He is studying in the same school; the department of mechanical engineering. She is also working in a company about his profession part-timely. She lives with her boyfriend at the same house. She is a feminist, and sensitive about violence against women. She joins activist movement about this issue. In the light of interview review, I can say that she doesn’t represent the majority of society, but she is also an example of the development of female awareness about this issue. discussion
In the light of the answers of first generation who states that ‘man is the breadwinner, if he doesn’t bring bread to home, how can we live? He can do whatever he does; women should be violating sometimes in order to be ordered. If cook is not ready when he came home, of course he beats and yells at you, he works all day, and gets tired, women only look after the child and cook, so meal should be ready before her husband come home…’ These findings can be explained by the concept of violence in Turkish culture, where violence against women is tolerated and considered as a means of discipline or punishment. It is a common thing for most men to speak rudely and swear in daily life.
Economic, cultural, and psychological factors are among the most frequently stated causes of violence. These can also be the effects as well as causes of violence (25). In our sample, families with low-income level showed a higher rate of violence. In our study, the rate of domestic violence decreased as the annual income level increased. This can be explained by the protective effect of economic independence (7,19). Low level of education is a risk factor for domestic violence (4,26,30,31). We also found a significant correlation between these two factors, especially among the illiterate groups.
The reasons of violence are various socioeconomic factors such as power, employment, education level, economic level, and social status. Domestic violence is associated with poverty, male employment, and status differences between partners. Similar to other studies, perpetrators in our sample also had higher levels of unemployment, lower income, and lower education level (3,14,15,23,28). My second generation is the best example for this explanation. Woman who is teacher sees herself less important than her husband because he is chemical engineer and this occupation is more significant than her occupation. A person whose occupation is engineering has higher status than teachers. Even she states that she isn’t exposed to violence by her husband, by the economic and cultural superiority of man, she act according to patriarchal norms and rules.
Even both of them work out of house, woman also cook, clean house, look after her child. In other words, she is subjected to double-burden. The idea of the double burden is more evolved with the times concerning both sexes and their newfound roles.The role of a provider as well as a caregiver is sometimes expected on women, but as more women enter the workforce and make their presence known in the work force, an ‘independent’ ideology seems to take effect and forces some women to choose a life of liberation and freedom with their career or a life of children, dirty laundry and school plays. Some may choose strictly one or the other, others may choose to carry the burden of both lifestyles while enduring the new stress that these times bring. In heterosexual couples where both partners have paid jobs, the woman often spends significantly more time on household chore and caring work, such as childrearing or care for the sick, than the male partner. This outcome is determined in large part by traditional gender roles that have been accepted by society over time (27).
Domestic violence is an increasingly important issue in Turkey as in the rest of the world. It has gained its importance since 1970, and in the mid 1980s it was brought to the public agenda for discussion (4). With the non-profitable and non-governmental organization organizations, activist movements have started to increase. These organizations aims to enhance gender equality consciousness provide information and training to empower women, and contribute to the development of efficient policies for solving women’s problems stemming from inequality.
Their main objectives are to contribute to the advancement of the women’s movement, to assure gender equality, to develop new possibilities of communication and cooperation, and to create common fields of action among women’s organizations (29). My third participant is also an feminist activist. She, with the organization of Flying Broom utalizes the media and all means of communication for increasing women’s visibility and creating sensitivity and awareness pertaining to gender equality within the society. Additionally, they are working for the internalization of women’s rights and the streamlining of these rights in all decisions and implementations (12). Even there are many women who are at the same age with her, she is the very important example in order to see the development female resistance against male violence.
My study, which is made in order to examine how degree women are subjected to men’s violence, to see the perception of women about this violence and to determine the differences of women’s perception and men’s act about this issue between three generations, found differences between three generations about perception and act of men’s violence against women and also found many causes for that violence. I realized that as an important public health problem, domestic violence requires a multidisciplinary approach to understand its causes and plan preventive measures.
Moreover, I found a significant relationship among the types of violence and annual income, type of family, education and occupation level of women, education level of perpetrators, norms and cultures of society and childhood experience of emotional abuse or negligence.
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