Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence: An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan

Farhana I. Madhani, Rozina Karmaliani, Cyra Patel, Carla M. Bann, Elizabeth M. McClure, Omrana Pasha, Robert L. Goldenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This community-based observational study of 1,325 women seen for antenatal care examined how women in Pakistan define violence against women (VAW), with an emphasis on domestic violence, what an acceptable response to violence is, reasons for remaining silent, and whether participants are willing to disclose incidents of domestic violence to others. Nearly half of the study participants believed that physical violence was VAW. Verbal abuse, controlling behavior by the husband, conflict with in-laws, overburdening domestic work, and threatening to leave or remarry were also considered VAW. However, only five respondents (0.4%) considered sexual abuse to be VAW. Most women who screened positive for domestic violence responded by remaining silent or verbal fighting back. None sought professional help. Women who decided to remain silent feared that the abuse would escalate or that responding would not help them. Women cited social stigma and concerns about the impact of the violence on children as reasons for not disclosing violent incidents to others or seeking professional help. Women’s lack of autonomy further reduced their ability to take steps against violence. Although societal norms, particularly patriarchal beliefs and women’s subordination to men, likely explain women’s tolerance of abuse, their recognition of physical abuse as violence indicates that they do not necessarily believe it is always justified. Educational interventions to drive changes in the social norms around gender violence along with effective and enforceable legal measures are likely required to ensure women’s safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-100
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Domestic Violence
Pakistan
Observational Studies
Violence
Social Stigma
Aptitude
Prenatal Care
Sex Offenses
Spouses

Keywords

  • Pakistan
  • perceptions
  • responses
  • violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Madhani, F. I., Karmaliani, R., Patel, C., Bann, C. M., McClure, E. M., Pasha, O., & Goldenberg, R. L. (2015). Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence: An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(1), 76-100. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515585533

Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence : An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan. / Madhani, Farhana I.; Karmaliani, Rozina; Patel, Cyra; Bann, Carla M.; McClure, Elizabeth M.; Pasha, Omrana; Goldenberg, Robert L.

In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2015, p. 76-100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Madhani, FI, Karmaliani, R, Patel, C, Bann, CM, McClure, EM, Pasha, O & Goldenberg, RL 2015, 'Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence: An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan', Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 76-100. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515585533
Madhani, Farhana I. ; Karmaliani, Rozina ; Patel, Cyra ; Bann, Carla M. ; McClure, Elizabeth M. ; Pasha, Omrana ; Goldenberg, Robert L. / Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence : An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan. In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2015 ; Vol. 32, No. 1. pp. 76-100.
@article{cc6933638a984bd8910bf68e9075fa34,
title = "Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence: An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan",
abstract = "This community-based observational study of 1,325 women seen for antenatal care examined how women in Pakistan define violence against women (VAW), with an emphasis on domestic violence, what an acceptable response to violence is, reasons for remaining silent, and whether participants are willing to disclose incidents of domestic violence to others. Nearly half of the study participants believed that physical violence was VAW. Verbal abuse, controlling behavior by the husband, conflict with in-laws, overburdening domestic work, and threatening to leave or remarry were also considered VAW. However, only five respondents (0.4{\%}) considered sexual abuse to be VAW. Most women who screened positive for domestic violence responded by remaining silent or verbal fighting back. None sought professional help. Women who decided to remain silent feared that the abuse would escalate or that responding would not help them. Women cited social stigma and concerns about the impact of the violence on children as reasons for not disclosing violent incidents to others or seeking professional help. Women’s lack of autonomy further reduced their ability to take steps against violence. Although societal norms, particularly patriarchal beliefs and women’s subordination to men, likely explain women’s tolerance of abuse, their recognition of physical abuse as violence indicates that they do not necessarily believe it is always justified. Educational interventions to drive changes in the social norms around gender violence along with effective and enforceable legal measures are likely required to ensure women’s safety.",
keywords = "Pakistan, perceptions, responses, violence against women",
author = "Madhani, {Farhana I.} and Rozina Karmaliani and Cyra Patel and Bann, {Carla M.} and McClure, {Elizabeth M.} and Omrana Pasha and Goldenberg, {Robert L.}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1177/0886260515585533",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "76--100",
journal = "Journal of Interpersonal Violence",
issn = "0886-2605",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Women’s Perceptions and Experiences of Domestic Violence

T2 - An Observational Study From Hyderabad, Pakistan

AU - Madhani, Farhana I.

AU - Karmaliani, Rozina

AU - Patel, Cyra

AU - Bann, Carla M.

AU - McClure, Elizabeth M.

AU - Pasha, Omrana

AU - Goldenberg, Robert L.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - This community-based observational study of 1,325 women seen for antenatal care examined how women in Pakistan define violence against women (VAW), with an emphasis on domestic violence, what an acceptable response to violence is, reasons for remaining silent, and whether participants are willing to disclose incidents of domestic violence to others. Nearly half of the study participants believed that physical violence was VAW. Verbal abuse, controlling behavior by the husband, conflict with in-laws, overburdening domestic work, and threatening to leave or remarry were also considered VAW. However, only five respondents (0.4%) considered sexual abuse to be VAW. Most women who screened positive for domestic violence responded by remaining silent or verbal fighting back. None sought professional help. Women who decided to remain silent feared that the abuse would escalate or that responding would not help them. Women cited social stigma and concerns about the impact of the violence on children as reasons for not disclosing violent incidents to others or seeking professional help. Women’s lack of autonomy further reduced their ability to take steps against violence. Although societal norms, particularly patriarchal beliefs and women’s subordination to men, likely explain women’s tolerance of abuse, their recognition of physical abuse as violence indicates that they do not necessarily believe it is always justified. Educational interventions to drive changes in the social norms around gender violence along with effective and enforceable legal measures are likely required to ensure women’s safety.

AB - This community-based observational study of 1,325 women seen for antenatal care examined how women in Pakistan define violence against women (VAW), with an emphasis on domestic violence, what an acceptable response to violence is, reasons for remaining silent, and whether participants are willing to disclose incidents of domestic violence to others. Nearly half of the study participants believed that physical violence was VAW. Verbal abuse, controlling behavior by the husband, conflict with in-laws, overburdening domestic work, and threatening to leave or remarry were also considered VAW. However, only five respondents (0.4%) considered sexual abuse to be VAW. Most women who screened positive for domestic violence responded by remaining silent or verbal fighting back. None sought professional help. Women who decided to remain silent feared that the abuse would escalate or that responding would not help them. Women cited social stigma and concerns about the impact of the violence on children as reasons for not disclosing violent incidents to others or seeking professional help. Women’s lack of autonomy further reduced their ability to take steps against violence. Although societal norms, particularly patriarchal beliefs and women’s subordination to men, likely explain women’s tolerance of abuse, their recognition of physical abuse as violence indicates that they do not necessarily believe it is always justified. Educational interventions to drive changes in the social norms around gender violence along with effective and enforceable legal measures are likely required to ensure women’s safety.

KW - Pakistan

KW - perceptions

KW - responses

KW - violence against women

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85006013130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85006013130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0886260515585533

DO - 10.1177/0886260515585533

M3 - Article

C2 - 25979535

AN - SCOPUS:85006013130

VL - 32

SP - 76

EP - 100

JO - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

JF - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

SN - 0886-2605

IS - 1

ER -