Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia Thesis

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Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia

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In 2006, the United Nations praised Cambodia for endorsing measures to begin to protect women from violence and exploitation, as well as, for developing policies to widen women's access to jobs. Members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, albeit, noted the need continues to exist to expand those measures and also include rural women. During the January 2006, Women's Anti-Discrimination Committee's meeting, Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women's Affairs, introduced Cambodia's related the statement presented for this paper's introductory quote. The committee's experts particularly focused on: "women's lack of knowledge regarding their rights, as well as their lack of access to legal assistance." ("Women's Anti-Discrimination...." 2006) Committee members also contemplated counters for challenging negative stereotypes about women, repeatedly reinforced by a customary code of conduct for women, "taught to all Cambodian schoolchildren, with provisions such as 'never turn your back to your husband when he sleeps' and 'never respond to his excessive anger'" were also examined. ("Women's Anti-Discrimination...." 2006) During the course of the committee's meeting, Ms. Phavi noted that a number of ministries were drafting a three-year plan of action for an information campaign on Cambodia's Domestic Violence Law to target judges, law enforcement officials, along with the general public, to emphasize the criminal nature of domestic violence; transferring it from the sphere of private family life. In addition, judges would receive instructions on alternatives beyond punishment, including prevention and victim counseling.

To encourage the preservation of the family unit, rather than being sentenced directly to jail, first-time offenders would receive a chance to correct their abusive behavior. ("Women's Anti-Discrimination...." 2006)

Research Question

TOPIC: Thesis on Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia in Assignment

This paper, which focuses on domestic or intimate partner violence, explores components contributing to domestic violence, along with potential counters to criminal behavior, as Ms. Phavi denotes family violence to more accurately be labeled. In the process of exploring this dark, too frequently concealed subject, this researcher presents considerations to answer the research question: What community-based family violence prevention models/strategies and response systems utilized in other Southeast Asian countries merit consideration for appropriate implementation in the Cambodian context to address family violence?


This study, utilizing the literature search methodology, including the following words and/or terms as boundaries for its search criteria for this literature review:

community-based family violence prevention, Cambodia domestic violence, Cambodia family violence prevention southeast Asian prevention domestic or intimate partner violence

South East Asia domestic abuse prevention

Research obtained through the following four venues included basic information about programs and strategies to counter domestic violence, a case study from a scholarly journal, along with magazine and newspaper articles, presenting a barrage of applicable points. During the process of meticulously searching for relevant information to answer the designated research question, this researcher sifted through approximately 75 potential sources; ultimately using less than 20 of this number. Data bases used to access research for this paper included:

Google Search Engine

World Health Organization

This researcher adapted and attempted to adhere and implement to the following guidelines during the literature review:

Select a variety of articles relating to research topic, even if they do not directly answer designated research question.

Select information that best relates to designated subject and purpose, ensuring research fits into a larger field of study.

Examine each article, study and book critically, evaluating "methodology, statistics, results, theoretical framework, the author's purpose, etc.

Organize information in logical sequence.

Ensure researched information relates to research question/hypothesis.... (Conard-Salvo, 1995-2008)

Information from South East Asian countries was included in this paper; however, retrieved research was all written in English. Dates of publications researched in this study were not limited, as information retrieved from more than 10 years ago proves as applicable today as in previous years.

A number of sources were excluded when they did not directly relate to this study's focus reflecting factors of family violence on women. Included resources presented facts contributing to programs promoting the prevention of, as well as dealing with current components of family abuse.

In Every Country in the World... Family Violence, particularly against women, exists not only in Cambodia and other South East Asian countries, but constitutes a problem for concern in every country in the world. Fraser (2005) reports that even teens, who met in a Youth for Peace office in Phnom Penh, listed domestic violence as one of the things they worry about. The following statistics relate some of the reasons this problem is a contemporary "worry":

In every country where reliable, large-scale studies have been conducted, results indicate that between 10% and 50% of women report they have been physically abused by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (WHO, 2000; cited by International Statistics, N.d.)

Population-based studies report between 12% and 25% of women globally have experienced attempted or completed forced sex by an intimate partner or ex-partner at some time in their lives. (WHO, 2000; cited by International Statistics, N.d.)

Interpersonal violence was the tenth leading cause of death for women around the world 15-44 years of age in 1998. (WHO, 2000; cited by International Statistics, N.d.)

Forced prostitution, trafficking for sex and sex tourism appear to be growing. Existing data and statistical sources on trafficking of women and children estimated 500,000 women entering the European Union in 1995. (WHO, 2000; cited by International Statistics, N.d.)

Among women aged 15-44 worldwide, gender-based violence accounts for more death and ill health than cancer, traffic injuries and malaria put together. (World Bank, 1993; cited by International Statistics, N.d.)

During February 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, a document which defines violence against women to consists of: "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life." (International Statistics, N.d.)

Effects of Marital Resources on Domestic Abuse in their study, Yount and Carrera (2006) compare numerous net effects of marital resources in marriage, along with early-life experiences, on domestic violence against married women, and as well as, attitudes relating to wife beating in Cambodia. Due to its high levels of isolation, recent violence and economic challenges, Yount and Carrera (2006) purport, Cambodia serves as a significant setting for research exploring components contributing to domestic violence in a cross-cultural context. From exploring the high prevalence of violence against women living in Cambodia, Yount and Carrera (2006) find that domestic violence, particularly spousal and other violence against Cambodian women, does not significantly different from levels observed in other countries. Among a number of findings, results from this study corroborate results from other studies (Smith 1990, Yount 2005; cited by Yount and Carrera, 2006) revealing marital resources as vital determinants of domestic violence against women in Cambodia, noting that women living in a lower household standard experienced a higher likelihood physical domestic violence. Yount and Carrera (2006) propose one reason for this factor could be that men in poor households, lacking economic resources, may use physical force to control their partners. (Felson and Messner 2000, Goode 1971; cited by Yount and Carrera, 2006) Another possibility, they suggest, is that men's stress levels may increase as a result of their lower standard of living, and consequently increase their potential to physically abuse their wives. Women, socioeconomically dependent on their partners, c also concur, not only experience a higher likelihood of domestic abuse, they are reportedly tolerant of partner abuse.

Women challenging status expectations in marriage and obtaining more schooling than their mates, albeit, experienced less physical domestic violence, but were at greater risk of experiencing psychological abuse. One unexpected finding from this study contends that neither the wife's age at her first marriage, nor the survival status or proximity of her natal kin relate to the domestic violence potential. This contradicts findings from India and Egypt, which purport that women isolated from their family, more likely experience physical abuse. (Rao 1997, Yount 2005; cited by Yount and Carrera (2006) Women who witnessed father-to-mother violence in their childhood reportedly experienced a greater likelihood for physical and psychological domestic violence. These women, however, did not justify wife beating more often, findings that contradict the perception that "children exposed to domestic violence learn to tolerate abusive behavior, and thus are more likely to experience spousal abuse." (Yount and Carrera, 2006)

Prevention Programs from Other South East Asian Developing Countries the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes a public health approach to violence prevention. The public health approach, which relates basic knowledge about violence, considers causes of violence, ways to prevent it and examines settings where for potential effective interventions. ("Violence and Public Health," 2000)

Educational Efforts in Indonesia, Indonesian Women's Association for Justice (LBH APIK) provides Gender Training to law enforcement Officers, which could prove to be effective in Cambodia. Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan, attempts to increase awareness of domestic violence through the media, however, may not prove to be as effective, due… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia.  (2008, June 5).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia."  5 June 2008.  Web.  20 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Family Violence Against Women in Cambodia."  June 5, 2008.  Accessed September 20, 2021.