Prevention of domestic violence
There exist several strategies that are being used to attempt to prevent or reduce DV. It is important to assess the effectiveness of a strategy that is being implemented.
Reforming the legislation in order to ensure that domestic violence falls under the scope of the law is important. This may imply repealing existing laws which discriminate against women: according to the WHO, “when the law allows husbands to physically discipline wives, implementing a programme to prevent intimate partner violence may have little impact”. Marriage laws are also important, “They [women] should also be able to enter freely into a marriage or to leave it, to obtain financial credit, and to own and administer property.” Abolishing or restricting the offering and receiving of dowry and bride price and scrutinizing the impact of these transactions on the legislative decisions regarding DV is also important. UN Women has stated that the legislation should ensure that “a perpetrator of domestic violence, including marital rape, cannot use the fact that he paid bride price as a defence to a domestic violence charge”.
Gender norms that promote the inferiority of women may lead to the abuse of women by intimate partners. The WHO writes that, “Dismantling hierarchical constructions of masculinity and femininity predicated on the control of women, and eliminating the structural factors that support inequalities are likely to make a significant contribution to preventing intimate partner and s3xual violence”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “A key strategy in preventing domestic violence is the promotion of respectful, nonviolent relationships through individual, community, and societal level change.” Early intervention programs, such as school-based programs to prevent dating violence are also effective. Children who grow up in violent homes may be led to believe that such behavior is a normal part of life, therefore it is important to challenge such attitudes when they are present among these children.