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Nearly nine in 10 Bangladeshi women suffer abuse

Stunning statistics show domestic abuses against women are the norm

Nearly nine in 10 Bangladeshi women suffer abuse

File picture: Shutterstock reporter, Dhaka

January 23, 2014

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About 87 percent Bangladesh women have been victims of various forms of domestic violence in their lifetime, according to a recent government sponsored survey.

Conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the first ever national census on women and violence was completed in late December and released early this month.

Of a total of 12,600 women surveyed, 65 percent said they were physically tortured by their husbands, 36 percent were victims of sexual violence, 82 percent faced psychological abuses and 53 percent were victims of mental anguish.

Only half the victims received treatment, while one third didn’t seek treatment for their injuries fearing a backlash from their husbands.

"The high rate of domestic violence against women in Bangladesh is nothing new. The only difference is they used to keep silent in the past, but now they are speaking out," said Maleka Begum, a prominent Bangladeshi women rights activist.

Begum said that although there are laws to protect women from torture and violence, they fail to address the root causes.

"Violence against women is rooted in the patriarchal mindset of society where males consider females as subjects and women’s contribution to society remains largely unrecognized," she said.

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