BOGOTA – Some 50 percent of Colombian men admit to having abused their wives, and 26 percent have at least once tried to intimidate them, a study in the Andean country prepared by three U.N. agencies says.
The same study says that 9 percent have punched their wives at least once, and 14 percent have slapped them in the face.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, the U.N. Population Fund, or UNFPA, and the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, surveyed 1,080 people in 10 Colombian cities to prepare the report.
The study was carried out between October 2009 and April 2010 for the Integral Program against Gender Violence of the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund, or MDG-F.
Of the 1,080 people polled, 52 percent were women and of those, 48 percent said they had been victims of gender-based violence.
The study also indicates that 38 percent of the women affected are between ages 31 and 64, 32 percent are between 18 and 30, 18 percent are between ages 11 and 17, while 12 percent are older than 65.
What the figures show is that 11 years is the age when females begin to suffer gender violence and abuse by their male companions.
However, the period when women suffer the most abuse is between 18 and 30.
The same study shows that abuse and violence against women occur at all levels of society, though in the upper spheres aggression is less frequently reported for fear of social censure.
Only four out of every 10 women file complaints against their husband or companion, since 79 percent believe that family problems should be resolved at home.
The report was presented Monday in Bogota in the presence of Bruno Moro, resident coordinator of the United Nations System in Colombia; Lucia Salamea, director of UNIFEM for the Andean region; Margarita Bueso, the coordinator of UNIFEM Colombia; and Tania Patriota, UNFPA representative in the Andean nation. EFE