Hanoi: More than half of all Vietnamese
wives have been the victim of physical, sexual or emotional
abuse by their partners, a joint study by the government and
the United Nations said on Thursday.
One in every three women who have been married said they
had suffered physical or sexual violence from their husbands
at some time, according to the first such study of domestic
violence in the communist nation.
Including emotional abuse -- such as insults, humiliation
or threats -- the figure rises to 58 per cent.
Nine per cent said they were currently the victims of
physical or sexual violence.
"Although domestic violence is widespread, the problem is
very much hidden," said Henrica Jansen, the lead researcher of
the study, which surveyed 4,838 women between 18 and 60 years
Many women considered the violence "normal", she added.
About half of those who suffered from violence said it was the
first time they had shared their personal experience.
"This report highlights the urgency of breaking the
silence," said Jean-Marc Olive, representative of the World
Health Organisation in Vietnam.
Children are also victims. Nearly one quarter of mothers
of under 15-year-olds said their children had been abused
physically by their husbands.
The study also found that 10 per cent of the women were
victims of violence at the hands of male relatives other than
About three per cent of the victims admitted they
suffered from sexual abuse before they reached 15 years old,
mostly from strangers.