Survey: Haitian women agree to be beaten by their husbands

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — A survey conducted by the Haitian Institute of Childhood (HIS) has found that the number of women who agree with at least one reason for domestic violence has not changed between the years 2012-17.

The sixth Mortality, Morbidity and Utilization Survey (EMMUS-VI), which was conducted by HIS in collaboration with the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics, looked at domestic violence in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

The survey which was sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health with the technical assistance from the World Programme on Demographic and Health Surveys found that after a significant decrease between 2005-2006 and 2012, from 31 to 17 per cent, on average, the percentage of women who agreed with at least one reason justifying domestic violence remained unchanged between 2012 and 2017.

The survey noted that on the other hand, for men, there is a continuous decrease in this percentage in the last three EMMUS surveys, with the figures declining from 20 per cent to 15 and now 11 per cent.

The survey found that 19 per cent of women in rural areas justified at least one reason for a husband to beat his wife as compared to 13 per cent in urban areas. However, in the case of men, the figure stood at 11 per cent regardless of the place of residence.

The survey found that among men and women with no education, the findings were 11 and 23 per cent respectively, while those with secondary education, the figures were nine and 12 per cent respectively.

The view that a man has the right to beat his wife or partner is less common among women whose household is classified in the highest economic well-being – nine per cent – as against 24 per cent for the lowest economic well-being.

The survey found that males between the ages 15-49 years, who think it is justified for a husband to beat his wife or partner for at least one of the following: burns the food; argues; goes out without telling him; neglects the children; and refuses to have sex with him, ranged from 15.2 per cent for men in the age group 15-19 years to 6.8 per cent for those aged between 45-49 years.

Regarding women, who were asked the same questions, the figures show that it ranged from 23.3 per cent for those within the age group 15-19 years and 16.1 per cent for those between 45 to 49 years old.

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