Field Report on
Domestic Violence against Married Women in Cambodia
by Chantevy Khourn
EWC Degree Fellow
Domestic violence has gradually been recognized as a social problem and an issue of human rights among Cambodian people but the prevention and action have been slowly taken toward this incident. Every day, a lot of Cambodian women are suffering from excruciating violence. According to a survey by Ministry of Women’s Affairs in 2009, 22.5% of married women experienced violence within their homes and up to 89% do not report the incident.
Having seen this issue, it makes me more curious about the situation of domestic violence (DV) against married women in Cambodia. I want to investigate how much women acknowledge DV their roles in the family. Also, I want to know the reasons why these women do not report the DV case. Additionally, I want to look for the family dispute resolution that has been practiced so far in Cambodian society and analyze how effective this solution is in protecting victims of DV.
In order to complete my thesis research, I have decided to collect the data during summer 2011. I have returned to Cambodia on May 15, 2011. On June 1, 2011 I have started observing the community, which I was going to do the research. There are around five hundred families in the community and most villagers work in the rice field. I have interviewed fifteen victims of domestic violence, a chief of the commune, two volunteers, who work for domestic violence. I did the field research during rainy season and it is time to work on rice fields. Thus, it is easy to meet victims of domestic violence since their husbands have gone in the rice fields.
I was born in a non-violence family, thus I have never encountered any violence issues. Through this research, I have known much more about domestic violence. I was able to meet the victims of domestic violence, I could ask, and listened to their problems. I was happy to meet these victims face to face and these meetings brought much better understanding about domestic violence in Cambodia. It took me two months to complete this field research including the observation and the interview.
I have enjoyed this summer vacation and thank to EWCA’s summer traveling grant. The grant has partly supported my traveling from Hawaii to Cambodia.