Month: October 2014

Domestic Violence – Stats don’t lie

So , few days ago I was trying to learn a new computer language. Not voluntarily though, office work it was !

The language R is used for statistical and data analysis. After learning the initial pieces on how to play with the data , I thought of playing with some real data and I started scouring the internet. I saw Stanford’s website but the data needed a lot of cleansing. I was not in mood of that and I wanted to have few insights . It was already 7 pm and office was deserted. If any Indian is reading this blog then he will say “big deal, 7 pm is common “. But here its not , also not in few other int’l locations I have worked at. So anyway, I thought of a friend of mine who was an officer at United Nations , I immediately opened the UNICEF’s website and here was my treasure. I looked at myriad datasets related to economic, social, scientific  areas. It was a huge data bank.

I stumbled upon the data pertaining to women and children, it said the domestic violence and stance of women towards it. I thought “what kind of study is it, of course every woman will be against domestic violence!” . But may be I clicked on it by mistake and the first spreadsheet opened up and there were few high values. It startled me a little. How can 70 % of women of a country can justify domestic violence, there must be something wrong with this table. I skimmed few more pages of the data and decided to write a small code for data analysis and plot the graph.

The results were preposterous  I couldn’t believe it.

I am attaching the chart here.


Just look at few countries, they have approximately 90 % of the women justifying the violence by their partners. What on earth is wrong with people. Why ?

I reflected upon the results for a long time and then came to conclusion that most women put up with the violence due to various reasons and then come with a reason to justify it. Why they put up with it? There can be many factors, social stigma, not confident enough to voice against the atrocities, lack of support, not qualified enough to support themselves financially or may be they sacrifice for their children. There cannot be any other reason for this. Violence of any form be it sexual, physical, mental is detrimental and has far reaching consequences. Wounds heal but the internal healing of the soul takes years. It not only affects the psyche of the person but also the outlook towards life and in many cases pushes them towards depression. Children growing in such homes fight a battle with themselves and develop psychological issues.

A friend of mine , Geeta Athreya, who used to work at UNICEF said to me on this “This is interesting and valid. This is a global phenomenon. As to why women do not leave partners who are violent and why they put up with it is a very complex subject. Because they put up with it they have to justify it . it is cognitive dissonance. But it is an area where affirmative action is needed. So many help centers catering to different strata of women are required. Assuring women there is no shame in seeking help and it is not their fault at all. “

PS : If anyone wants to check the raw data , then its available at