Opinions of married women about potential causes and triggers of intimate partner violence against women. A cross-sectional investigation in an Iranian city

Hamzeh, Behrooz; Farshi, Mirtaghi Garousi; Laflamme, Lucie
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p209
Academic Journal
Background: Population-based perception studies on potential causes and triggers of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) may enlighten context-relevant primary preventive actions in settings where data are limited. This study, conducted in one specific city, deals with married women's opinions concerning potential causes and triggers of IPVAW and seeks to highlight areas of consensus and divergence in the views. Methods: A convenient sample of women aged 25-45 years and married for at least 5 years was consecutively recruited in the 48 public health centres of Kermanshah city, where free health services are provided to mothers and children under 6 years old. Respondents were individually interviewed on site by trained and experienced female interviewers (response rate 94.3%). A structured pilot-tested questionnaire was used that consisted mainly of closed questions about individual assessment of the extent to which various items could be regarded as a potential cause, a potential trigger or a potential consequence of IPVAW. Individual item frequencies were compiled and the association between socio-demographic attributes of the spouses and also respondents' prior exposure to violence and women answers was explored. Results: For most factors covered, women mainly "agreed" or "agreed very much" about their potential as a trigger or a cause of IPVAW; agreements were stronger for individual-related potential causes. Generally, women's socio-demographic characteristics and prior victimisation did not much affect the opinions they expressed. For some triggers however, women's own occupation and their husband's educational level affected how much in agreement they were. Conclusion: The women interviewed consider that most potential causes and triggers proposed may, at some point in a relationship, engender IPVAW. In the main, their views are not much altered by their own and their husbands' socioeconomic position or their prior victimisation. It remains to be seen whether married men and, for that matter, even women married for a shorter duration or from other settings will answer in a similar manner.


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