On average, half of women surveyed around the world believe violence can be justified.
Want to see something shocking? Look no further than the graphic below. Represented are the percentage of girls and women around the world aged 15–49 who believe that a husband or partner is justified in hitting his wife under certain circumstances.
Jordan is at 90 percent. Ninety percent. Guinea follows, at 85.6 percent. At the other end is the Ukraine, which, at 5 percent, is the lowest of the 67 countries polled by UNICEF in a 2001-2007 survey of household attitudes towards domestic violence.
Lest you think these examples are outliers, on average, half of the female population polled responded that it's sometimes reasonable for a husband or partner to beat his wife.
And these circumstances? Neglecting the children is the reason most often given by those who responded that wife-beating is OK, followed by "going out" without her husband's permission. According to the survey:
Approval of wife-beating varies significantly by level of education. Less educated women are more likely to feel that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife. As with the level of education, wealth quintile and area of residence appear to influence significantly women's approval of wife-beating. Overall, women from rural areas are women belonging to the poorest quintile of the wealth distribution and are more likely to justify wife-beating than women from urban areas and women of the richest households. [UNICEF]
While it's easy to point fingers and write these attitudes off as other nations' problems, we would be ignoring the proverbial log that's in our own national eye. Rihanna. Whitney. Jasmine Fiore. And that's just recent news. Domestic violence transcends class, race and culture... and it would be foolish to think that any one group in particular is spared.
Concerned for someone you know? Learn more about the signs of domestic abuse, and don't be afraid to speak up. After all, as this survey shows us, sometimes they need a voice not their own. Why Do Victims Of Domestic Violence Stay?