Sub: Modifications required in Domestic Violence Module of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) with respect to NHFS-3

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Secretary (H&FW),

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,

Nirman Bhawan, C-Wing,

New Delhi - 110001


April 17, 2014


Dear Sir,


Sub: Modifications required in Domestic Violence Module of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) with respect to NHFS-3

This is with reference to the National Family Health Survey 2014-15 which is going to be conducted for India. The survey will be collecting various family level nationwide data on education, employment empowerment and domestic violence.


In the Domestic Violence Module of NFHS-3, physical and sexual violence, among ever married women, was measured using the following set of questions (seven sets of acts of physical violence and two of sexual violence):


Women Questionnaire:


(Does/did) your (last) husband ever do any of the following things to you:

a) Slap you?

b) Twist your arm or pull your hair?

c) Push you, shake you, or throw something at you?

d) Punch you with his fist or with something that could hurt you?

e) Kick you, drag you or beat you up?

f) Try to choke you or burn you on purpose?

g) Threaten or attack you with a knife, gun, or any other weapon?

h) Physically force you to have sexual intercourse with him even when you did not want

to?

i) Force you to perform any sexual acts you did not want to?


NHFS-3 concluded that nearly 37 percent married women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their husband.


Strangely, NHFS-3 did not collect any data of married men experiencing physical or sexual violence by their wife. At the same time, NHFS-3 concluded that “only one percent of married women have ever initiated violence against their husband”.


And this strange conclusion was drawn without even asking even a single question to the men to measure the DV on Men by Women. This was done by framing questions in such a way where even if the female answer to question is yes it looks like a offence committed by the male

Example:-

The NHFS-3 asked Women the below Question:


Have you ever hit, slapped, kicked, or done anything else to physically hurt your (last) Husband / partner at times when he was not already beating or physically hurting you?


The biased and cooked question patterns itself depict the extremely poor and dubious quality of the Domestic Violence survey Module of NHFS-3


What Peer Reviewed Global Surveys Say about Domestic Violence


We would now request you to go through another Domestic Violence Study conducted by MA Strauss. The report is not only completely unbiased but has done the survey for over 32 countries including India.


The MA Strauss report is attached as Annexure -1

The report in Page 261 quotes the prevalence of bi-directionality of severe physical violence and has the numbers for 32 countries. The numbers for India are as below.

11.9% of Indian couples face domestic violence (slap, shove, grab, throw etc )

Column A :- 15.3 % of times only the Male is violent

Column B :- 23.0% of times only the Female is violent

Column C :- 61.5% of times both are violent

The data for India shows that in 23% of the times the Female is violent and 61.5% of the time both are violent. Then why have we completely ignored the data in columns B and C and only cherry picked the data in column A for NHFS-3 ?

But what is the effect of conducting poor and dubious surveys like NHFS-3.


We would like to attach three such media articles. These incidents and media reports could have easily been avoided if NHFS-3 and subsequent framing of laws had been conducted gender neutral


Unhappily Harried – Indian Today, issue dated August 31, 2009 : Annexure – 2

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/10/20090908200909080050497652dae64ec/Momsinlaw-run-for-cover.htmlAnnexure - 3


Some Brides are Villains Not Victims : Times of India : Annexure – 4.


In the Year 2010, 61453 married Men committed suicides, in comparison to 31754 Married Women. This clearly depicts the urgent need of collecting data of Domestic Violence, perpetrated on Indian Married Men


Kindly refer, ‘Skyrocketing suicide rates of Indian Husbands for 15 years’ - Annexure – 5,



Modifications required in Domestic Violence Module of NHFS-4


To correct the dubious quality of Domestic Violence Survey of NHFS-3, a fresh set of questions needs to be introduced, which should be asked only to married men.


In NHFS-4, physical and sexual violence on Married Men, needs to be measured using the following set of questions (seven sets of acts of physical violence (a-g) and two of sexual violence (h-i)


Men Questionnaire:


(Does/did) your (last) wife ever do any of the following things to you:

a) Slap you?

b) Twist your arm or pull your hair?

c) Push you, shake you, or throw something at you?

d) Punch you with her fist or with something that could hurt you?

e) Kick you, drag you or beat you up?

f) Try to choke you or burn you on purpose?

g) Threaten or attack you with a knife, gun, or any other weapon?

h) Physically force you to have sexual intercourse with her even when you did not want to?

i) Force you to perform any sexual acts you did not want to?


To measure, emotional violence among ever-married men, the following sets of questions were used (three sets of emotional violence):


(Does/did) your (last) wife ever:


a) Say or do something to humiliate you in front of others?

b) Threaten to hurt or harm you or someone close to you?

c) Insult you or make you feel bad about yourself?

Conclusion


We strongly feel that the introduction of this new module on Men in NHFS-4, would help in rectifying the poor and dubious quality of NHFS-3. We would also request for an appointment to personally meet you and discuss the issue of domestic violence in more detail.


Warm Regards,






Cc:

Dr.FaujdarRam,

Director and Chief Vigilance Officer,

International Institute for Population Sciences,

Govandi Station Road,

Deonar, Mumbai – 400 088


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