2 in 5 UAE residents know a victim of domestic abuse: survey

2 in 5 UAE residents know a victim of domestic abuse: survey

Forty-two per cent of UAE residents say they know a victim of domestic violence.

That’s according to a new survey commissioned by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) and conducted by Addaera Research and Polls Centre.

The study measured the level of awareness of domestic violence in the country with 58 per cent of respondents saying they haven’t witnessed any cases.

The field study included 1196 respondents aged 15 to 60 years from across the UAE.

Most respondents said wives (22 per cent) are the most affected victims, followed by daughters (15 per cent), sons (12 per cent), female domestic workers (9 per cent) and mothers (7 per cent).

Husbands are believed to be the main abusers (27 per cent), followed by fathers (16 per cent) and wives (10 per cent).

Twenty-three per cent of participants said they would interfere to protect victims while 19 per cent would opt to urge victims to seek assistance from family care organisations.

The majority of respondents (81 per cent) believed that specialised family care organisations should be given more authority to be capable of addressing domestic violence cases efficiently.

Eighty-four per cent that new legislation should be introduced and ratified to combat domestic violence more efficiently while 30 per cent of total respondents believed that current laws can prevent domestic violence.

Thirty-five per cent found them somehow sufficient, while 12 per cent thought they were totally insufficient.

Afra Al Basti, Director General of DFWAC, said the survey served as a weighing scale of domestic violence in society, its drivers and growth track, to help develop a good prevention strategy against its social damaging impact. 

“Exploratory studies are needed for proactive action. All types of domestic violence lead to social disintegration, and this survey reveals the scope of domestic violence in the UAE so we can take the necessary procedures to maintain a healthy family environment; which is key to social stability.”

Meanwhile, Hana Lootah, CEO of Addaera Research and Polls Centre said, “current laws should be revised and intensified, as domestic violence victims and witnesses are recommended to report cases to help vulnerables get the support they deserve and be provided with rehabilitation opportunities to overcome their ordeal.”