It is estimated that almost 55% of the global population is living in urban areas. The rural area’s life styles are tough, and based on manual processes; it is forcing people to migrate.
The societal structure and mindset are nowhere near the urban societal structure. See the following illustration showing the amount of population residing in the rural area.
Living in a rural area is tough; the domestic violence in these areas increases women’s trouble.
There is not much evidence on domestic violence as these populations prefer to live in isolation. Though domestic violence ratio exists, let’s look at the condition of rural domestic violence and its challenges.
Prevalence of Domestic Violence
The US crime statistics reflect that the rural areas have lesser crime rate than urban areas. Average of six deaths over 100,000 for males and two deaths per 100, 000 for females.
The most common crime among the rural areas was domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV).
The female victim in the rural area typically faces the worst treatment and has severe injuries on their body.
The study conducted by the Journal of Women’s Health depicts a different story. According to the study, almost 22.5% of female from rural areas and 17.9% from isolated areas face domestic violence.
The condition of domestic violence prevalence in the country is more worst then the federal statistics. Almost three women daily are being killed due to domestic violence by their partner or spouse.
The government is taking measures to gauge the intensity of this issue. The main culprits for the prevalence are; poverty, societal structure, and psychological well-being.
Regardless of the prevailing reason, the issue needs immediate attention to reduce the challenges faced by rural domestic violence victims.
Rural Domestic Violence Challenges
In the US, 20 people per minute face domestic violence with a greater ratio in rural areas. The remote geographical locations and societal structures contribute to increasing the rate of domestic violence in rural areas.
These are accompanied by; women suppressing social values and norms that also increase women’s challenges.
The issues are of that much intense that women even fear to speak against the violence. The legal and societal issues lack information and awareness regarding this issue, which increases their suffering.
The question here arises that why women do not leave this situation?
The basic reason is their societal structure and upbringing. The fear of losing family and spouse also contributes as one of the major reason.
Following are the challenges that these women face in domestic violence.
1. Rural Masculinity
Around 19.3% of the population resides in a rural area, out of which majority are male.
The societies’ norms and upbringings are in a narrower way. The masculinity in the rural area is generally depicted as a sign of privilege, strength, and domination over women.
The patriarchal families consider it usual and have normalized the trend as part of male privilege and strength.
Women face multiple types of violence throughout their lifetime due to this normalization of the trend. In many remote locations, aggressive nature is also a way of reflecting the rural manhood image.
Therefore, many families had mistaken their male’s domestic violence as a proud moment. This also contributes in strengthen the trend and keeping women trapped in the circle.
2. Perpetrator Accountability
I once read that if you are silent on murder, you are also the part of the murder.
The negligible amount of resistance against domestic violence is being witnessed in rural areas. The community acts against the women and protects the male if they had a dominant role.
The silent attitude of community and rare resistance faced by men over domestic violence appreciate them to carry this behavior.
Due to this lack of resistance, governmental institutes and police are unable to provide any legal help to the victims. Though, in rare cases, victims make a complaint regarding the irresponsible and unsympathetic attitude of the local police and judiciary.
3. Privacy Concerns
Another challenge in domestic violence that rural women face is privacy concerns. It is a norm in rural areas that women are responsible for keeping family secrets.
The idea of an ideal woman is the one with stoic and self-reliant towards family problems and violence.
The maintenance of family harmony enforces woman to hide their feelings and sufferings from domestic violence. Along with this, women who speak against it may get victimized by gossip and become a symbol of shame.
Lack of privacy and intimacy issues make such women a symbol of fun in the village. Despite these conditions, if women file a case and visit the court, they are considered impious and may be open to many societal predators.
4. Financial Agreements
In rural areas, there are complex financial agreements that force a woman to face domestic violence.
Financial agreements are interconnected among families enforcing woman to cooperate with their partner. Due to which these areas contribute less than 10% of the GDP.
For instance; the agricultural farms are owned by the men, even the women have share in it, but they cannot use or claim it.
Therefore, she does not have any financial security if she exits from an abusive relationship. The farmlands are also dependent upon women and children labor and domestic animals.
If a woman desires to leave the relationship, her children would be left without economic support, and families also threaten women to harm the farmland or animals.
5. Living in Isolations
Living in isolation is the toughest way to spend your life, but this toughness also comes with other difficulties.
The geographically and socially isolated lifestyle increases the level of domestic violence even more.
The geographically isolated people face more violence as a sign of controlling and dominating men in society.
The perpetrator can easily cut off the Source of communication or travelling from the place, leaving victims with no choice. The remotest town in the US is Glasgow, Montana with the nearest city at 4 km.
Mental Impact of Domestic Violence
Approximately 44 million Americans get victimized by mental disorder every year. Majority of these patients have suffered some sort of violence in their lifetime, as per do my coursework.
Domestic violence is considered to be directly and adequately effective for mental health. Regardless of the willpower and coping from the situation, it may leave some scars. See the following common metal impacts that domestic violence creates;
- Traumatic disorders with nightmares and flashbacks.
- Prolonged sadness period or depression.
- Lower self-esteem and feeling of self-hate.
- Higher anxiety and sleep deprivation.
- Alcoholism and drug usage.
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
Wrapping it up
Domestic violence is a bitter reality in our society. Even today, women do not feel secure and get victimized by different societal and emotional trauma.
The domestic violence is at the top of the list. In rural areas, domestic violence is even more contrary to urban areas.
This is due to their distinct cultures and isolation from the rest of the world.
The women living there are unaware of their rights and legal support they can ask for. Their lifestyle is sewn with the best possible complexities so that, they didn’t even get time to understand the complexities of the societal structure.
Speaking against a man is considered to be a sin for them. The situation is even more worsening by the non-serious attitude of police, professional lawyers, and judiciary as they fail to give adequate decision.
This is the condition in the rural area of a developed country. When you move towards the Asian side, the situation is inhuman. I hope that this awareness will support you in rethinking our society and getting some help for these women.
Elaine Vanessa is currently working as a Content Executive at Crowd Writer and Assignment Assistance. She is a dedicated and passionate woman willing to raise voice on every social issue and crime against women.