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Research recently conducted shows that domestic violence is widespread and a serious problem in post-communist societies, and that this problem may increase and become even more severe (UNICEF, 1999:80–83; Nowakowska, 1999). All research findings seem to provide evidence for the assumption that everyday life changes brought on by the transition from a planned to a market economy, further aggravated in some countries by ethnic conflicts and war, contributed significantly to women’s vulnerability to violence at home. Impoverishment, decreased access to paid jobs as well as employment instability and complete insecurity became significant risk factors for women’s vulnerability to domestic violence and contributed to the decrease of possibilities for women to leave violent men. If we add to that slow legal and policy changes, widespread corruption and prejudices related to domestic violence, as well as a strong patriarchal tradition in the countries under examination, the situation where women who are victims of domestic violence find themselves often seems hopeless.
KeywordsDomestic Violence Gender Identity Adult Child Physical Violence Hegemonic Masculinity
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