x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Domestic abuse among Emirati women is 'more verbal than violent'

Emirati women suffer more from psychological or verbal abuse rather than violence.

SHARJAH // Psychological or verbal attacks are a more common form of domestic abuse than violence among Emirati women.

A study of 640 victims of abuse in the home from across the country found that almost 31 per cent suffered psychological abuse and 29.5 per cent were abused verbally.

Physical attacks were reported by 22.3 per cent, while 17.5 per cent had endured sexual violence.

Ehsan Misbah Al Suwaidi, a member of the Sharjah Consultative Council, carried out the research for her master's thesis with the department of sociology at the University of Sharjah, entitled Battered Women in the UAE Community.

"Domestic violence is often thought to refer to only physical violence, but women are suffering more from being verbally abused or tormented by their partners," Ms Al Suwaidi said.

"All acts that degrade and humiliate a woman are violence and should be tackled together."

The study found family interference in a couple's marital affairs often led to violence, with 87 per cent saying it created problems.

Bad moods, nerves and short tempers also contribute, and reporting attacks to police sometimes led to more violence.

More than half of family disputes settled last year by Sharjah Police involved Emiratis, police figures show -171 out of 321 incidents.

"Each case of family dispute is unique and our officials listen to every case individually and find a solution," said Col Abdullah Hamid Taryam, the director general of the community police department.

"The department is mostly encouraging dialogue and understanding among disputing parties to reach an amicable solution."

The study made a number of recommendations to help stop domestic violence, including creating awareness among women about their human rights.

ykakande@thenational.ae