Mauritius: 'Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) costs Mauritius US$58m annually'

Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius (PANA) – The Mauritian Gender Equality Minister, Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, on Wednesday said that the aggregated economic cost associated with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is estimated at MRs 2 billion (about US$ 58 million) per year, approximating 0.6% of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Minister was speaking at the launching of a two-day validation workshop on the study and the elaboration of a national action plan where the main highlights of a study on the prevalence, causes, consequences and costs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) on the Mauritian economy was presented.

According to the study, conducted by the University of Mauritius, the prevalence rate of IPV over a 12-month period stood at 18.4% for women (53,000) and 7.5% for men (22,000).  

One official of the Ministry defined IPV, as per the World Health Organisation, as behaviours by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and controlling behaviours.

She said the majority of those directly experiencing such violence are women and the majority perpetrating it are men.

According to her, IPV is deemed to have serious adverse effects on health, education and employment.

Jeewa-Daureeawoo decried the aggressive behaviour and violence against women which causes an increase in the rate of domestic violence and the brutal loss of life.

“Home should be a place where women find security, not a place of abuse and violence,” she warned.

She stated that the study will spark the elaboration and implementation of new measures to better support victims and curtail abuses, while underlining the necessity for a multi-sectoral approach with the contribution and assistance of public and private institutions as well as the civil society.

The Minister reiterated her call to parents to make efforts towards gender equality within the family by giving the same opportunities to girls and boys, as well as inculcating, at a young age, appropriate values and attitudes, namely respect for each other, the habit of sharing everyday tasks and other responsibilities.

According to the study, the incidence for women who experience IPV in the extreme case is 43 on average for a victim, approximating one episode every seven to eight days.

For the occasional group, the incidence for women stands at 13, that is, averaging one episode every month. The incidence for men stands at one episode every three months.

The main factors and causes of IPV are, among others, money (81%), alcohol use (65%), past abusive experiences (63%), extra marital affairs (62%), and issues concerning children (50%).

On the economic front, the costs represent the minimum tangible costs which are observable like support network, health-related assistance, loss of productivity on household chores and at work, and loss of economic output due to absenteeism.

They do not take into account intangible costs such as suffering, psychological pain and long term effects on victims and children, and the macro-economic implications, namely long-term human capital and economic growth.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 24May2017

24 may 2017 13:47:14

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