Domestic violence prevention and control reveals gaps hinh anh 1Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung presents a report at the third session of the 12th National Assembly. (Photo: Doan Tan/VNA)

National Assembly (NA) deputies listened to a report presented by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung on the draft Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control at the ongoing third session of the 12th legislature in Hanoi on May 27.

Many serious cases found

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the total number of domestic violence cases detected nationwide was 324,641 in 2009-2021. During this period, the number of domestic violence cases gradually decreased over the years: 53,206 cases (2009), 19,274 cases (2015) and 4,967 cases (2021). These results were compiled by cities and provinces across the country.

Meanwhile, the national survey of violence against women conducted in 2019 by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the General Statistics Office, and the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam, published in 2020, showed that, in 2019, 31.6 percent of women experienced at least one form of violence in the 12 months (from the time of the survey). Also, nearly one in three women (32 percent) experienced physical or sexual violence by their husbands.

Notably, 90.4 percent of women experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by their husbands did not seek help, only 4.8 percent sought help from the police. The results of this survey showed that in 2019, domestic violence against women caused a loss of 1.8 percent of GDP (an increase of 0.2 percent compared to 2012). Compared with the survey data conducted in 2009, the number of domestic violence cases in Vietnam has increased.

Research on domestic violence conducted by the Institute for Family and Gender Studies in 2019 showed that 69 percent of children reported having been punished by their parents by hitting, punching, kicking, and slapping. In addition, 31.6 percent of parents admitted that they had punished their children with violence.

Children are also exposed to a high risk of sexual abuse in the family. 21.3 percent of children were reported to be sexually abused by their own family members.

According to this study, domestic violence against the elderly is also common in many localities. Violence against the elderly such as "ignoring emotional care" accounted for 10.2 percent, "not taking care of food and medicine" accounted for 8.5 percent. Other violent acts include forcing the elderly to work, contesting for inheritance, having property destroyed and money confiscated, looking down upon, humiliating, scolding, and threatening.

“If not dealt with promptly, domestic violence will threaten the sustainable development of the family. It also erodes the nation's fine traditional cultural values, weakens the development motivation and is a barrier to the country's sustainable development process," Minister Hung said.

Many gaps remain

Minister Hung said one of the basic reasons for the prevalence of domestic violence is that there is still a lot of shortcomings in the current Law on Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence.

“There are also many limitations in the law enforcement process, especially regarding the responsibility and inter-sectoral coordination in domestic violence prevention and control,” he said.

In addition, the administrative procedures and conditions for handling domestic violence in the current law are quite complicated.

“Many domestic violence victims are afraid to contact the authorities because they do not know how to express themselves and they are threatened by the abuser if they report their situation,” the Minister said.

The law also lacks specific provisions on saving lives in an emergency, especially for victims who are children, the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant and nursing women as well as vulnerable groups.

To address the problem, Chairwoman of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh suggested devising proper solutions according to each region and locality, especially in areas with a large majority of ethnic minority people./.