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Domestic violence declines: report

PRELIMINARY results from a new survey conducted in 13 provinces suggest that the portion of Cambodian women affected by domestic violence has decreased from 18 percent in 2005 to 6 percent in 2009.

The German development organisation GTZ presented the data Wednesday during a meeting of groups that work to address the issue of domestic violence.

The survey – which is being prepared by GTZ-Promoting Women’s Rights, a joint initiative with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs – draws from interviews with 3,000 women.

Chim Manavy, executive director of the local NGO Open Institute, said the data might not reflect the prevalence of domestic violence nationwide because it is based on interviews in only 13 provinces. She noted that domestic violence is often underreported, and added that her organisation estimates that at least one out of seven women are subjected to physical or mental abuse at the hands of their husbands.

But Sy Define, secretary of state at the Women’s Affairs Ministry, said the results might be accurate.

“We now have an improved legal system and law enforcement to deal with domestic violence against women and children,” she said. The Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Protection of Victims was passed in 2005.

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