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Data shows decline in domestic violence

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Marion Bihler, a consultant for GIZ, speaks yesterday at a conference held in Phnom Penh about data collection and monitoring of violence against women in Cambodia.

Minister of Women’s Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi said yesterday that “remarkable” progress had been made in reducing rates of domestic violence in Cambodia, pointing to a report that found a 24 percent decline in the number of families experiencing domestic violence from 2006 to 2009. 

The 2010 Report on Data Collection and Monitoring of Violence Against Women in Cambodia, which was released yesterday, also found that the prevalence of violence against women had decreased by about 16 percent between 2000 and 2005.

Ing Kantha Phavi said, however, “that there is still a long way to go” to meet Cambodia’s Millennium Development Goal of reducing rates of gender-based violence, and acknowledged that the government’s data collection systems needed improvement.

“Especially when it comes to rape, our data collection systems still require advancements,” she said.

Marion Bihler, a consultant for German development agency GIZ, which helped fund the report, acknowledged that these decreased rates might appear to contradict some NGOs, like Adhoc, which have reported increased numbers of gender-based violence cases in recent years.

However, she said it is difficult to draw accurate conclusions from data based solely on reported cases because in many instances a higher incidence of reporting has more to do with increased levels of awareness, and not necessarily increased levels of violence.

Representatives from the ministries of planning, interior, health, justice and social affairs pledged to collaborate to create a comprehensive national data collection system that would make it easier to measure the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to reduce rates of violence against women.

Minister Ing Kantha Phavi said there was a need to improve services for victims of gender-based violence, calling for a “one-stop shop”.

“We have a lot of services, but the problem is that they are in different places, it is badly organised,” she said.

“So, we initiated this concept of the one-stop service centre where victims can find most of what they need in one place,  services,” she explained.

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