Is Violence Against Women a Public Nuisance?

Intimate partner violence continues to be a major problem that women face in their relationships with men: in both the United States and South Africa, about one in every four women is a survivor of intimate partner violence.

Our colleagues in South Africa, People Opposing Women Abuse, released a powerful public service announcement video over the summer that played on local television stations. It addresses the fact that all too frequently, communities in which intimate partner violence is happening do not acknowledge that it’s happening or try to remedy the situation.  Instead, many simply pretend it doesn’t exist.

It’s a powerful analogy, and one that’s certain to strike a chord in many.  And while telling a neighbor to lower the volume on his music is much simpler than confronting a neighbor about the violence they perpetrate, both affect the entire community and aren’t just issues of privacy or matters that happen “behind closed doors.”



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