Violence against women exists because of the power balance between men and women. It can and does affect women regardless of class, colour, ethnic or religious background.
The use of religion or culture is never an acceptable reason to perpetrate violence against women.
Making assumptions about violence against women in relation to culture is dangerous because it can prevent women from coming forward to access the support and protection that they are entitled too.
Women from religious or ethnic minority groups may feel that speaking out about their abuse will add to already held stereotypes about their communities. They may think that they will not be believed or that they will not be taken seriously or they may fear that they will be ostracised from their communities for involving legal or other government agencies.
Unhealthy stereotypes, attitudes and beliefs can also influence how professionals and the criminal justice system respond to women in abusive relationships e.g. ‘she’ll just go back to him’ or ‘they all do that in their community so what’s the point in helping or supporting them?’
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or is affected by any of the issues mentioned above phone COPE Galway Domestic Abuse Service at 091 565 985 (24 hours)