Iran has yet another world record to add to its collection. In addition to being the world’s leading executioner per capita and the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, it is now the country with the highest levels of domestic violence against women.
In fact, sociologist Amanollah Qaraei Moghaddam said that the chair of the Social Aid Association had previously announced that “40 percent of domestic violence in the world is carried out in [Iran].”
Domestic abuse is not an easy thing to deal with, even when the law and society are on the side of female victims, but legal loopholes that negate a woman’s right to safety mean the situation is so much worse in Iran.
The authorities began admitting that violence against women was rising in 2018, but what they likely meant was that reports of such violence were increasing, with 85,420 women filing complaints in 2019.
Fatemeh Ghassempour, head of the Research Center on Women and Family in Tehran, said: “66 percent of Iranian women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.”
This is double the world average, but still likely an understatement of the true problem. The Borna News website, which underestimated the number of cases, advised that only a third of all cases are reported.
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Social ailments expert Mohammad Reza Mahjoubfar is the one who said that “Iran holds the world record on domestic violence (against women)”, claiming that no house is safe and blaming government mismanagement over the “economic and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic” for the rise in domestic abuse.
There is a bill to “provide security for women” but it’s incapable of stopping violence and does nothing to protect the rights of women. To protect women, domestic violence must be criminalized, offenders must be punished, and psychological violence should be recognized as violence. In addition, supportive institutions must be set up and more shelters established so that women can actually access them. Otherwise, domestic violence will only grow.
One of the biggest domestic violence issues in honor killings, which are estimated to account for eight murders per day.
“The enforcement of the law against honor killings has been in a way that presently, men have a free hand in carrying out physical, verbal, and psychological violence against girls and women in their families. By relying on existing male-dominated laws that grant them immunity against the implementation of maximum punishment, they commit any crime and murder,” Mahjoubfar wrote.