Domestic violence is the biggest preventable ‘contributor’ of women deaths

The report suggested that being fifth leading cause of death for women ages 18 to 44, it is the largest 'preventable' contributor.


  • The results are based on a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about homicides.
  • The said report suggested that domestic violence is the ‘fifth leading cause of death for women ages 18 to 44’.
  • With being the fifth largest cause, it is the largest ‘preventable’ contributor.

While the cases of domestic violence in Pakistan particularly go unnoticed, as they are either masked or go unreported due to societal norms, it is significant for us to analyze the situation on a broader prospect. Not only will it assist to understand it better, but we will also be able to subsequently evaluate our own standing point while we break free from shackles and constraints.

The said report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Titled ‘Racial and Ethnic Differences in Homicides of Adult Women and the Role of Intimate Partner Violence’, the report spoke about the cases of gender-based violence and how they were also encouraged by racial and ethnic differences in the context of the US.

Female homicide and domestic violence:


The discussion on patterns of domestic or gender-based violence has begun again now as the stronger voices are taking the lead. While we can see the numbers in more developed countries quite horrifying, it should compel us to recognize the scope of the issue in third-world countries like Pakistan, where the state of human rights overall is deplorable.

Homicide is the fifth leading cause of death for women ages 18 to 44. In the year 2015 alone, 3,519 women and girls were killed. What rings bells is that more than half of these killings were perpetrated by current or former husband and intimate partners. Moreover, the study revealed that racial and ethnic minorities were disproportionately affected.

How the patterns were affected by race and ethnicity:

The findings suggested that the majority of the victims of homicide were women of colour. The statistics for black women stood at 4.4 per 100,000. It was followed by American Indian women at 4.3 per 100,000, Hispanic women at 1.8 per 100,000, white women at 1.5 per 100,000 and Asian women at 1.2 per 100,000.

The CDC report also touches upon another significant determinant, i.e, what lead to the murder. In 29.7 per cent of homicides related to partners, there was an argument before the victim’s death. About 12 per cent of the cases were associated with jealousy. And 10 per cent of women had faced violence in the month preceding their death. About 15 per cent were pregnant at the time of the murder.

Domestic violence, homicide and Pakistan:

domestic violence

Killed in the name of ‘honour’ or rape and murdered – the headlines are not unknown to news outlets in Pakistan. Earlier, Thompson Reuters Foundation conducted a survey ranking Pakistan as the sixth most dangerous country for women. The determinants were sexual violence, non-sexual violence, human trafficking and discrimination remained some top of the list sources of violence inflicted upon women.

By February, data collected by a local NGO revealed that at least 18 major incidents of violence against women had been reported across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). More than 54 cases of violence against women perpetrated in the province, only some of whom drew the attention of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Source: Express Tribune

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, about 1,000 honour killings happen in Pakistan every year. According to statistics by Aurat Foundation, 138 cases emerged in 2018. Among them, 51 women and 25 men were killed, adding that 30 women and 19 men were killed in the name of ‘honour’.

14 women committed suicide over domestic disputes while 21 women and eight men were tortured to death in Balochistan.

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