During the COVID-19-induced lockdown, violence against women in Morocco increased by 31.6% compared to the same period last year.
Rabat – Despite global activism to combat violence against women, the issue remains persistent worldwide and in Morocco, requiring further efforts.
November 25 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Morocco was among the countries that marked the international day by launching a campaign to emphasize the importance of activism against such violence and gender discrimination.
On the occasion, the High Commission for Planning (HCP) published a study on the social cost of violence against women and girls in Morocco.
The study shared with Morocco World News includes data from the 2019 national survey on violence against women and men, which the HCP carried out with the support of UN Women between February and July of last year.
The study found that violence against women can have serious health consequences for victims and negative impacts on their physical, moral, and social well-being.
HCP’s survey takes into account a population of girls and women aged 15 to 74 who reported experiences of physical and/or sexual violence in the past 12 months.
One in four victims of physical violence and one in 10 victims of sexual violence suffered injuries and/or psychological issues.
In marital relations, 25% of victims of physical violence and 10% of victims of sexual violence suffered injuries and/or psychological issues following the most serious incidents of physical or sexual violence during the past 12 months.
HCP said 60.2% of the victims reported psychological disorders due to physical violence compared to 79% of victims of sexual violence.
The study emphasized that the most common psychological consequences of physical and sexual violence are feelings of nervousness, frustration, and anxiety.
Some victims also reported sleep disorders and a feeling of permanent fatigue.
More than half of victims of physical violence, 52.2%, reported sustaining scratches and bruises, while 11.2% sustained sprains and joint dislocation.
The remaining victims reported serious injuries such as deep incisions, broken or cracked bones, or broken teeth.
In cases of sexual violence, the majority of victims suffered serious injuries, including to their genitals, while 11.7% reported hemorrhages.
About 9% of women victims of sexual violence said they contracted sexually transmitted diseases, while 3.5% of victims reported unwanted pregnancies.
Violence in public spaces
Harassment and violence against women in public spaces also remain a persistent issue in Morocco despite activism and legal actions.
The study shows that public violence against women often results in psychological disorders. More than a third (34.3%) of women developed psychological disorders due to physical violence compared to 79.1% of victims of sexual assault.
Such violence also has physical effects, with 63.7% of victims of physical violence and 20.5% of victims of sexual assault sustaining bruises and scratches.
The HCP also studied the impacts of violence on the income of women workers.
“Absenteeism from work, whether of the victim or her aggressor spouse has negative impacts both on the household in terms of possible loss of income and on society in terms of lack of productivity,” the study underlined.
The HCP said more than 14% of employed victims of violence had to take time off work due to serious incidents of physical assault.
The Moroccan Federation of Women’s Rights’ Leagues (FLDF) announced earlier this week that violence against women in Morocco increased by 31.6% during the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
Moroccan associations recorded a total of 4,663 acts of violence against women since March. FLDF stressed that many incidents go unreported.