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Feminism, war and silence fuel domestic abuse in Finland FEATURE 10/25/2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Feminism, war and silence fuel domestic abuse in Finland

FEATURE

10/25/2010
HELSINKI — Until her husband slammed his fist into her face and knocked her to the floor, Taru never thought she would fit the particularly Finnish profile of a dominant yet battered wife.

“I opened my eyes and saw all the blood on my hands, on the floor. I don’t remember everything because I was in shock,” 33-year-old Taru, not her real name, told AFP.

It’s a scenario that underlines a Finnish paradox: in a country that is a pioneer of gender equality, with a national stereotype of iron-willed women, one in 10 females have been abused at home, according to government data.

European Union statistics show that nearly 40 percent of Finns know a friend or relative who is abused at home, nearly double the European Union average of 25 percent.

Experts explain this puzzle by piecing together a psychological profile of a society where private matters are kept private, where men have had violence drilled into them through five 20th-century wars, and where women feel like failures if they cannot rescue themselves..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101025com3.html

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