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Domestic violence in Pakistan is an endemic social and public health problem. According to a study carried out in 2009 by Human Rights Watch, it is estimated that between 20 and 30 percent of women in Pakistan have suffered some form of abuse. As defined by the World Health Organization, domestic violence encompasses physical and psychological distress including sexual coercive acts towards primarily women by a current or former male intimate partner. An estimated 5000 women are killed per year from domestic violence, with thousands of others maimed or disabled. Lisa Hajjar, an Associate Professor at the University of California, describes abuse against women in Pakistan as «endemic in all social spheres». Research has also shown high rates of domestic violence primarily in rural communities and Afghani refugees living in Pakistan.
Dowry deaths have been described by the United Nations as a form of domestic violence in Pakistan. Women are often attacked and murdered if their in-laws deem their dowry to have been insufficient. A recent report noted that one in five homicides in Pakistan are attributed to honour killings. The prevalence of such honour killings that have been reported are around 2,000 killings every four years. Psychological abuse generally includes yelling, insulting, controlling behaviors, and threatening. In a study by Zakar et al.