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Violence against women – Kuwait Times

Muna Al-Fuzai

Despite media
campaigns, whether local or international, the issue of violence against women,
especially domestic violence by husbands or family members, is still endless
and unresolved. I still receive emails from women, especially expatriates, who
were subjected to physical violence at the hands of their expatriate husbands,
but they do not know what to. 

This is a
difficult situation, because speaking openly and publicly is not easy for them.
They feel shamed and guilty. I think societies are not supportive of women in
times of crisis, as she might be blamed or punished for raising her voice
against being abused. 

I received an
email recently from an expat woman, who said she is a victim of violence by her
expat husband. I quote her words: “Where to report if my husband abuses me
physically and mentally? I am suffering from mental abuse and now I am under
medication.”

I think it is
very difficult for any woman to come from a distant country to live with her
husband, possibly as a newly-married couple leaving behind family and friends,
and then get beaten and insulted by the man she trusted. Such women often keep
silent because they are afraid they will suffer more harm by the same person,
while some seek divorce or go back to their countries when the opportunity
arises. In all cases, the woman loses her health, money and maybe her life.

It is known that
many countries in the Arab world have signed agreements to support and protect
women, but this does not mean that the subject of violence has ended forever,
because I believe violence is linked to the culture and social upbringing of a
person that he as a male is the strongest and women are secondary. Some men
reject violence against women, but some consider it normal behavior.

In 2018, Dr
Fatima Al-Salem, a faculty member at the media department at Kuwait University,
presented a shocking study on the prevalence of violence against women in
Kuwait. Salem reported information on the high incidence of violence here. The
most prevalent forms of violence in Kuwaiti society are physical abuse,
psychological violence and verbal abuse. I believe we need more of such
transparent and bold studies. This is exactly what we need to end the issue of
violence.

Personally, I
believe agreements cannot end the issue of violence unless society plays an
active role in raising awareness and spreading a culture that rejects such ill
behaviors. Women may bear insults and curses once or twice, but if this
situation continues, she may suffer from disorders and psychological problems,
or the beating may lead to permanent disability. The situation becomes worse
after divorce or the imprisonment of the husband, and when little kids are
involved. This affects the society and not just the woman.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

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