IN commentary on domestic violence, columnists and editorials now regularly cite one-in-three abused women statistic from the 2018 Women’s Health Survey done by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

There are three important caveats to this high number. First, it is a lifetime prevalence figure—in other words, of the 15- to 60-year-old sample, 33 per cent of the women said that they had experienced “intimate partner violence” (IPV) with someone they had once been involved with. However, when these women were asked if they had experienced any such violence in the past year, the number dropped to six per cent.

Second, the definition of IPV included questions like “Has your current husband/partner, or any other partner ever insulted you or made you feel bad about yourself?” The fact that 66 per cent of women said “No” to this somewhat absurd query tells you how well the vast majority of Trini men treat their spouses.

Finally, the IDB questionnaire also asked its all-female respondents, “Have you ever hit or beaten your husband/partner when he was not hitting or beating you?” The answer to this query was not included in the final report, perhaps because the response contradicted the women-as-victim narrative.

Kevin Baldeosingh