Domestic violence cases on the rise

382 cases of domestic violence reported last year

The records maintained by the non-governmental organization, RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) show an increase in the reported domestic violence cases. RENEW has recorded 2020 reported domestic violence cases from 2009 to 2014.

In 2012, 374 cases of domestic violence were reported to RENEW, follow by 375 cases in 2013 and 382 cases in year 2014.

Types of violence 2012 2013 2014
Willful negligence 119 127 121
Physical assault 145 110 104
Psychological abuse 1 43 61
Extra marital afair 33 56 41
Alcohol and substance abuse 11 0 0
Child labour 1 0 0
Sexual assault 2 2 5
Rape 5 4 2
Non DV 57 33 48
Total 374 375 382

The highest case reported to RENEW is that of a mother searching for the father of her child, categorized as ‘willful negligence’ with 121 cases in 2014 and 127 cases in the 2013. According to RENEW, the age distribution between 19-25 years and 26-30 years are most vulnerable to domestic violence reported with RENEW and lowest is in age distributions of 51-60 years.

The Community Outreach Officer, RENEW, Yangchi Pema, said the root cause of domestic violence is disrespecting women’s rights, poverty and alcohol. This is the same case globally.

She said, “The number of the case reported to RENEW is increasing because it is an indication of people becoming more aware of the organization, widely reaching out the service and opening up to the public.” She added that there are volunteers in 20 dzongkhags to educate the community about the issues faced by disadvantaged women and vulnerable young girls, and how to address their needs and annually provide training to the volunteers. .

She said RENEW provides shelters to the victims of family violence, and their children, as an emergency protection from their abusers. The victims are provided with service and support to heal the physical and emotional wounds and to restore their lives free of violence and abuse

She said RENEW shelter provides emergency medical services, emergency protection, food and lodge and counseling and legal services. There are also the community based support systems (CBSS),

a mechanism to ensure the safety and security of victims and survivors of domestic violence through partnerships with community members.

She said uncomplicated cases are solved in the dzongkhag level while complicated cases are brought to Thimphu. “Many men think that RENEW gives assistance to women only, but it is not true. RENEW also assists the men, where men are also victims, and we do render support to men,” Yangchi Pema said.

She said the objective of RENEW is to make healthy and happy families for the bigger prospect of making a happy nation.

In 2013, the forensic unit of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) saw 342 cases of domestic violence and 297 cases in 2012 and 2014 is under the process. 2397 cases of domestic violence were reported to the forensic unit of JDWNRH from 2005 to 2013.

An official at the forensic unit, JDWNRH, said alcohol abuse and extra marital affairs are the most common causes of domestic violence.

RENEW was founded by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck in 2004. It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to empowerment of women and girls in Bhutan, especially the victims and survivors of domestic violence and promotes gender equality through every aspect of its work.






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