Representational Image. (Image by Free Photos from Pixabay)

After the recent stats about the Family Protection Act (FPA) cases being more in number this year, July ended with a police blotter sharing another case of abuse.

On Monday last week, Samuel Saunders allegedly beat up a woman in the Malakal area. The incident took place at 4:16 AM and Saunders is currently being investigated for violation of FPA.

Island Times tried gaining access to the court records of the case but as Saunders has not yet been served the court notice, the document was inaccessible.

The Wealth Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet about violence against women, particularly an intimate partner, states that it is a violation of the women’s human rights.

The fact sheet also adds that men with low education, a history of child maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence against their mothers, harmful use of alcohol, unequal gender norms including attitudes accepting of violence, and a sense of entitlement over women are more likely to be involved in perpetrators of violence against women.

The statistics released by the Ministry of Justice showed an increase by 88% in the crimes reported under the Family Protection Act as compared to last year till June which showed a decline by 50%. The decline in 50% last year was in comparison to the 32 cases Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) received from January to June of 2017.

The cases under FPA have gone up to 30 till June this year and the officials believe that this is because of awareness amongst people about FPA which is encouraging them to report the case of abuse.

As per last Island Times report, the 2014 Belau Family Health and Safety Study: National Research Project on Violence Against Women in Palau led by the Ministry of Health (MOH) did a study with a sample of 931 women of whom 886 were ever-partnered respondents.

The term ‘ever-partnered’ refers to a relationship regardless of being married.

According to study, 25.2% of the women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime.

The study further adds that 23% of ever-partnered women in Palau experienced physical partner violence in their lifetime. The most common act of physical partner violence was being slapped or having something thrown at.

Not just that but 4.5% of ever-pregnant women experienced physical partner violence in at least one pregnancy and over one-third of these women which makes up to 37% were punched in the abdomen.

The study also reveals that over one-third of ever-abused women which is about 37% had never told anyone about the violence they faced and those who did disclose the violence mostly confided in family members or friends.

According to this MOH led study, majority of the ever –abused women (65.8%) never sought any help from the authorities or formal services.

However, by the recent increase in the number of FPA cases, the officials now believe otherwise. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)