23 May 2019

Study reveals higher educated women slow to report domestic violence  

Experts of gender-based violence and psychologists affirm that no ‘typical’ profile exists of domestic violence victims.

Gea Alessi
Gea Alessi NewsMavens, Europe
Study reveals higher educated women slow to report domestic violence   - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

On average, women who have a postgraduate education (master, doctorate, or post doctorate) take 12 years and 3 months to press charges against their abuser, which is a longer time than those who have a lower level of schooling (between 7 and 10 years). These are the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Spanish Government Delegation for Gender Violence. The data is in contrast with the way society usually stereotypes domestic violence victims. In fact, as the psychologist coordinator of the study, Ana Gómez Plaza, points out, no typical profile exists for victims of this crime.    

"The data on the level of studies shows that you have to be alert in any field and against any violence, whether physical, psychological, sexual or environmental” advises Gómez.  

Shame has been listed as one of the factors for not reporting violence, as 28% of the study’s interviewees said. The main one remains fear of the aggressor, followed by the belief that they could solve the issue themselves (45%) and non-recognition as a victim (36%). This last element was the one that kept Ana Bella Estévez, the president of the Ana Bella Foundation for victims of this violence, 11 years with her abuser.  

"I was a victim in a world where there was power, luxury and money. The stigma in those areas is double, because it is not expected, because there is fear of losing prestige, there is a lot of invisible violence" she affirms.

Details from the story:

  • Although a profile of domestic violence victims does not exist, factors like age, economic independence and children can contribute to the decision not to report
  • Women with a postgraduate education take on average 12 years and 3 months to denounce the abuses; those with university or secondary education press charges in 7 years on average, and those with primary education, in 10 years  
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