The Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS), at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), organized an event titled, “Family Violence: A Public Health Concern.”
Guest speaker Dr. Hadi Jalkh, specialist in family medicine, delivered an interactive session attended by students and faculty members from different Faculties at NDU.
Sharing with the audience his valuable practice, Dr. Jalkh defined violence as a global health concern. He discussed Domestic Violence (DV) as an act of violence practiced against any member of the household. Family violence includes any family member, regardless of shared residence.
He added that DV is a prevalent worldwide health problem, frequently underreported, under-recognized, and under-addressed. The initial episode usually takes place before the age of 25 years. Early intervention services in at-risk families have been shown to reduce mistreatment of children and may reduce violent behaviors later in life.
Dr. Jalkh said, “All women of childbearing age should be screened for DV.” In Lebanon, there are no official statistics regarding the prevalence of DV. Violence against women, especially related to sex and domestic battery, remains highly-linked to honor in Lebanon, with 66 cases of honor crimes reported between 1999 and 2007. It is also considered as a private issue or an internal family affair. The Kafa, Enough Violence and Exploitation, organization estimates the rate of Lebanese women who have experienced DV at some point in their lives stands at 75 percent.
Kafa is a Lebanese Non-governmental Organization (NGO) established in 2005 to promote gender equality and to fight against all types of violence against women and children. The organization played a crucial role in the creation and implementation of Law No. 293 on the “Protection of Women and Family Members Against Family Violence,” which was published in May 2014 in the Lebanon Official Gazette. Family violence, therefore, is not an internal family affair, it is a crime forbidden and punishable by law.