Physical Violence Most Common Type of Domestic Abuse in the Kingdom


A study conducted by the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) revealed that the most common type of abuse in Jordan is physical accounting to 86% of the cases . During a meeting of the National Team for Family Protection against Violence, Hakam Matalqa, a member of Family Protection Unit in the Council, explained that the study has shown that men make up the majority of domestic violence perpetrators in Jordan .
According to Matalqa, the study is the first of its kind having provided actual data on domestic violence cases which will help decision-makers and relevant national institutions design their policies and domestic violence interventions based on actual scientific facts.
The study entitled " Socio-Economic Characteristics of Domestic Violence Cases" aims at identifying the characteristics of violence cases and their families and the socio-economic characteristics of abusers and victims relying on actual figures from their profiles, Matalqa added. He indicated that the study was conducted on cases registered at the Family Protection Department (FPD) / Public Security Directorate and was executed in a coordinated effort among the Council, (FPD), Centre for Security Studies/Public Security, and Coordination Commission for Social Security (previously).
The study sample, as Matalqa pointed out, is made up of 592 domestic violence cases registered at the family protection departments in different governorates in the Kingdom via a form designed for that purpose.
According to study figures, most cases were perpetrated by a family member and victims were subjected to more than one form of violence; battering or physical assault (using hands or legs) constituted the highest percentage of violence forms (76.6%), name-calling, insulting and demeaning (51.4%), withholding allowance from family members (18.5%) and husbands' neglect of spouses' needs (18.1%). Furthermore, the study showed that 62.1% of cases were mostly within families of five members or less and that 39.7% were in families with a monthly income of JD300 or less. Figures also showed that the majority of perpetrators have a low level of education and that third had jobs. They also showed that more than two thirds of perpetrators were either the husband or the father and that more than half were recurrent abusers.
As for the characteristics of the victims, the study indicated that the majority were adult women and most were unemployed. Also, the age group of 16-25 was shown to be the most subjected to violence.
Findings demonstrated that the reasons behind violence in the point of view of victims were attributed to the personality traits of abusers such as: excessive nervousness, ignorance and lack of knowledge, psychological or mental illness, stinginess, adolescence, jealousy, dependency, selfishness and irresponsibility. Other reasons, according to them, include: marital or family disputes, financial factors, interference by either spouse's parents in family affairs.
From the point of view of abusers, causes were ascribed to age differences between spouses, disrespect of family members towards each other, desire to remarry, polygamy, parent absence, extramarital affairs, abusive behavior among members of the family, inheritance-related disputes and giving birth to baby girls, in addition to financial factors.
The study recommended that domestic violence interventions and services offered by institutions should be reviewed and their effectiveness reassessed given the rise in violence recurrences. Promoting family counseling programs at a national level was also suggested to help combat the culture of violence among Jordanian families and enhance a culture of dialogue and communication instead. Furthermore, it was recommended to conduct this study periodically to track any changes in the social and economic dynamics of domestic violence so as to benefit from them while reviewing national policies and programs targeting domestic violence