The or ill-served women, especially from vulnerable

The term domestic violence against women was adopted by the United Nations at the General Assembly of 1993 (Lucena et al., 2016). Although many authors use terms like “intimate partner violence” and “family violence against women”, the adoption of the term “domestic violence against women” took into account numerous studies (Lucena et al., 2016). Since then, its broader definition has been established and violence against women has come to be defined as any type of verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual assault which violate a woman’s body and their sense of self (Abdel, Yassin, ; Omer, 2014).  Domestic violence against women is generally viewed as a result of gender inequality and unequal balance of power (Farooq, Parpio, Lalani, Saeed-Ali, ; Marjorie, 2017). There are various types of acts of violence against women including verbal, psychological, economic, emotional, physical, sexual, and even, in some cases, death (Zarei, Rasolabadi, Gharibi, ; Jamal, 2015). It is a type of social relationship that is historically and culturally bounded in which women are exposed to aggression, both in private and public locations (Lucena et al., 2016).
The prevalence of domestic violence remains high and results in numerous consequences, such as permanent psychological and physical issues (Osuwu ; Ebenezer, 2016).  This is a domestic and international problem that affects a significant amount of unserved, underserved, or ill-served women, especially from vulnerable populations around the world (White, 2017).  Research shows that violence against women has reached high levels and affects all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups (Abdel et al., 2014). Women who are exposed to any type of abuse often experience a negative impact on their quality of life (Lucena et al., 2016).  It interferes with the physical and psychological health of women in society and in their social relations, also bringing consequences for the health system (Lucena et al., 2016). Scholars state that this is a global concern and more attention should be brought to the public (Farooq et al., 2017).
This paper addresses domestic violence against women all over the world, what causes it, how it affects its victims, and potential solutions.  The first section addresses factors related to domestic violence such as alcohol and drug use, home environment, and cultural components. The next section explains why this is an important topic of discussion and the consequences of these actions.  This section will include the prevalence of domestic violence against women and how the issue has increased throughout prior decades. The paper then discusses assisting victims and why these victims might fail to report their abuse. The paper addresses the need for assistive programs and includes a proposal on how to improve victim safety.  The paper concludes with a summary and suggestions of what should be done in years to come.
Factors Related to Domestic Violence
It is essential to understand the extent of violence against women (Qaisrani, Liaquat, ; Khokhar, 2016).  However, it is more important to comprehend the context that leads to the continued prevalence of this crime in current times (Qaisrani et al., 2016).   Numerous studies have examined risk factors associated with domestic violence (Tjaden ; Thoennes, 2000). Some of the results from these studies include the observation that unmarried, cohabiting couples have higher rates of intimate partner violence than married couples, minorities have higher rates than whites, lower income women have higher rates than higher income women, and less educated women have higher rates of domestic violence than more educated women. Research also shows that experiencing and/or witnessing violence in one’s family increases one’s chances of being a perpetrator or victim of domestic violence (Tjaden ; Thoennes, 2000).  According to the National Violence against Women Survey, approximately 1.5 million women are assaulted by their intimate partners in the United States and the numbers are much higher among certain populations (Lipsky, Caetano, Field, ; Bazargan, 2005).
After surveying thousands of married women around the world, scholars established that 30.8% of those respondents were exposed to violence, 28% verbally, 25.9% emotionally, 14% physically, and 11.4% economically (Yonelik, 2009).  Results show that there is a strong correlation between violence and the socioeconomic status of men and women, including monthly income, health insurance, and home ownership (Yonelik, 2009). Lack of economic sources pushes away the priority of receiving an education (Qaisrani et al., 2016).  It is portrayed that uneducated women are not aware of their rights and thus are more victimized for violence and abuse. Additionally, the quality of education and the discrimination taught in curriculum is found to be one of the major causes of violence against women (Qaisrani et al., 2016). Another common factor of domestic violence is substance use or abuse.  Alcohol abuse is associated with an increased risk of domestic violence victimization among women, while drug use alone has been associated with a history of domestic violence victimization among women (Lipsky et al., 2005).
There are cultural components related to domestic violence against women, due to existing ‘norms’ and traditional gender roles (Tenkorang, Owusu, Yeboah, ; Bannerman, 2013).  For example, Ghanaian culture demands that women not only be submissive to their husbands, but also be respectful to the extent that rejecting and/ or reporting abuse may be interpreted as attempting to sabotage the authority of the man (Tenkorang et al., 2013).  Similarly, African culture exercises the authority of men over women and abuse or aggression is a sign of strength (Holmila et al., 2014). Domestic violence in Pakistan is a sign of power and has been transpired into the ‘norm’ throughout the years (Qaisrani et al., 2016).  In these communities, among others, it is presumed that when a woman raises a voice against violence, she is perceived to lose her respect (Tenkorang et al., 2013; Holmila et al., 2014; Qaisrani et al., 2016).
Consequences of Domestic Violence
Data shows that abused women have more than double the number of medical visits and an increased hospitalization rate compared to non-abused women (Akyuz et al., 2012). It is important to be aware of the prevalence and physical consequences of domestic violence against women and the medical needs of victims (Tjaden ; Thoennes, 2000).  In some cultures, domestic violence may be seen as a private matter and a potentially justifiable response to a wife’s misbehavior (Akyuz et al., 2012). However, the consequences of violence suffered by women are underestimated in such cultures and transpire in biological, psychological and social abuse that affect human and social equalities (Lucena et al., 2016).  Commonly reported results of domestic violence include increased health problems such as injury, chronic pain, gastrointestinal, and gynecological signs, including sexually-transmitted diseases, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (Campbell, 2012). In addition, problems such as hypertension, heart disease, anxiety disorders, sleeping and eating disorders, stress, stroke, and sexual complications were reported by study participants as direct consequences of such violence and said to significantly impact their health and social life (Lucena et al., 2016).  
Prevalence studies estimate the proportion of a population that has suffered domestic violence and is important in understanding the scale of the problem (Trevillion & Agnew-Davis, 2013). Between 2000 and 2003, the WHO conducted a multicountry study, striving to estimate the extent of physical and sexual intimate partner violence against women in ten countries. The results were wide-ranging, which are clearly due to cultural differences with regard to the normative level of control in intimate relationships. The reported lifetime prevalence of physical or sexual violence, or both, varied from 15% to 71% among the countries studied (Alhabib, Nur, & Jones, 2010; Trevillion & Agnew-Davies, 2013). The study displayed consistent health consequences of domestic violence, proving WHO’s statement of the impact of abusive behavior and domestic violence throughout the world (Trevillion ; Agnew-Davis, 2013).
Prevalence of violence has been assumed to be higher in clinical settings than in population samples, because it is assumed that health care utilization is higher among victims of abuse (Alhabib et al., 2010). CONTINUE….
Assisting Victims
Research has shown that domestic violence is an accepted lifestyle in society, viewed as people’s mindset, cultural ‘norm’, and learned behavior (Farooq et al., 2017).  Because of these attitudes, non-reported abuse is very common (Farooq et al., 2017). Approximately one fifth of all rapes, one-quarter of all physical assaults, and one-half of all stalkings perpetrated against women are reported to the police (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).  A major reason as to why women avoid reporting their abuse is the mindset that they must keep the opinion of society before themselves (Quasrani et al., 2016; Farooq et al., 2017). Fear of getting a divorce resulting in separation from their children is another significant component as to why women might fail to report their abuse (Farooq et al., 2017).  Many victims tend to prioritize their children’s safety and future needs over their own dignity and respect, thus tolerating all kinds of abuse and suffering in silence (Farooq et al., 2017).
It is important that victims of such violence report or, at the very least, acknowledge their abuse so that they can be assisted properly (Fernandez, 2010). There are many potential approaches to assisting victims of domestic violence, such as seeking help, constructing a safety plan, and/ or reporting their abuse to authority figures and letting them take control of the situation (Benson, 2016). However, many women do not believe any of these options are possible, due to fear of lack of economic stability, lack of transportation, isolation, and fewer legal and social resources (Benson, 2016).
Many people who witness such abuse think interventions are an appropriate way to go about assisting victims, but the effectiveness of interventions in improving mental health outcomes and safety for victims of domestic violence is fairly low (Trevillion ; Agnew-Davies, 2013). Existing interventions include individual and group psychological therapies, psychosocial support, and advocacy programs. Nevertheless, victims will not benefit from such interventions if they do not address the situation themselves (Trevillion ; Agnew-Davies, 2013). However, an innovative (restorative justice) approach could be beneficial (Fernandez, 2010). The focus of this approach is aimed at the context of the relationships and responding to the cause of such abuse. According to Fernandez (2010), there are three pillars or elements of restorative justice; “harms and related needs of victims, obligations that have resulted from this harm, and engagement of those who have legitimate interest or stake in the offense and its resolution” (Fernandez, 8). Criminal justice policy is focused on offenders’ rights and governmental power in the interest of maintaining public order and security, but the restorative justice approach focuses on victims’ needs, which is ultimately more important in regards to domestic abuse. Restorative justice is a valuable approach because it builds on and strengthens the community and state at hand. It aims to understand the causes and processes of the crime which ultimately leads to determining useful ways to deal with it (Fernandez, 2010).


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