Gender-Based Violence in Senegal: its Catalysts and Connections from a Community Perspective

Timothy R. Werwie, Zoe J.L. Hildon, Abibou Diagne Camara, Oumoul Khairy Mbengue, Claudia Vondrasek, Mamadou Mbaye, Hannah Mills, Kuor Kumoji, Stella Babalola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Gender-based violence is associated with an array of negative health outcomes for women and limits their opportunities to fully participate in society. Only recently have studies begun to explore the interconnectedness of emotional, physical and sexual gender-based violence. This qualitative study sought to understand how men and women in Senegal perceive various forms of gender-based violence, their connections, and who could best promote change among perpetrators of violence. Community focus group discussions that used structured exercises adapted from Participatory Learning and Action group activities were carried out in urban and rural settings in seven regions of Senegal. Groups were sampled for maximum variation within rural and urban settings in each region (n = 28 groups and n = 267 participants). Male and female groups in both urban and rural settings described each form of violence similarly. Examples of emotional violence centered around home finances, neglect, and dependency. Emotional violence between male and female spouses escalated to physically and sexually violent behaviors, uniquely directed at women and girls. Physical violence was described in two levels: acceptable and unacceptable. Sexual violence was described as common within households but unreported. Economic considerations cross-cut each form of violence. The findings from this study contribute to conceptual definitions and understandings of GBV from a community perspective to better inform programmatic and communication approaches for the reduction of GBV in Senegal. Challenges will remain until the global community can more effectively address equitable access to financial resources among the world’s poorest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-780
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Community perspectives
  • Economic violence
  • Gender-based violence
  • Senegal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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