While 90% of the Dutch consider domestic violence or violence within a relationship to be unacceptable, 29% consider it to be justified in some circumstances, according to new research.
Men are 1.5 to twice as likely to consider the use of violence to be acceptable and the better educated are more likely to consider responding to violence with violence as permissible than the low skilled, the researchers said.
There was little difference between the view of people with an ethnic minority background and the native Dutch, the report, produced by the women’s history institute Atria and anti-domestic violence campaign group Blijf, said.
Some 200,000 people in the Netherlands are the victims of domestic violence every year – 120,000 women and 80,000 men.
The report also found that youngsters are more likely to consider domestic violence acceptable than the older Dutch and that one in 20% youngsters under the age of 25 consider it ok to rape their partner.
Youngsters are also more likely to say their partner was ‘asking for it’ while 9% consider domestic violence to be a private matter, compared with 4% of the over 55s.
The organisations say the results of the research are troubling and that more needs to be done to combat domestic violence. ‘The fact that youngsters are relatively more tolerant towards violence against their partner raises questions about the risk of an increase in domestic violence in the future,’ the organisations say.
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