A decline in domestic violence cases

Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) records maintained with the Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) shows a decline in reported domestic violence cases.

In 2011, a total of 244 cases of domestic violence were reported to WCPU which decreased to 199 in 2012.

The assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Major Chewang Dengye of Thimphu police station said that the cases has decreased as per the records, but there might be many women who still do not come forward with their case to the police. Though the number has been decreased by few cases as per the records, but the reasons for drop in the figure is not known.

“Victims of violence come to police only when things go out of control, otherwise they just bear the pain and remain silent,” the ASP said.

Meanwhile, there are differences of figures in the records between the ones maintained with the WCPU and the forensic unit of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH).

In 2011, the hospital’s forensic unit recorded a total of 304 victims of domestic violence which dropped to 297 cases in 2012.

The forensic unit saw the highest number of cases in 2009 with 385 cases followed by 335 cases in 2008 and 306 cases in 2010.

One of the victims of the domestic violence said words alone cannot end violence against women until serious action is taken against the abusers. She said, no matter how much the authorities or government come up with plans and acts, violence is here to stay though it might reduce by few numbers.

The top three causes of domestic violence against woman according to police are alcohol, suspicion, and adultery.

Officials also said that sometimes the reasons are silly with minor injuries, but in some cases even if the reasons are not so serious the injuries are major and severe.

Officials from hospital said most of the victims of violence were from middle class family or were fully dependent on their spouse for livelihood and that they do not prefer to lodge any complaints with police, but choose to bear the pain.

Figures maintained with Forensic Unit of JDWNRH

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