Frequency and correlates of spouse abuse by type: Physical, sexual and psychological battering among a sample of iranian women

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Violence against women is one of the main, yet neglected, social problem in many countries. Unpublished reports and other anecdotes suggest a high rate of violence against women in Iran. This preliminary study was developed to examine the frequency and correlates of physical, sexual, and psychological violence against women in this country. The study undertook structured interviews to identify the women who were abused by their spouse. This study was performed in two phases. The first phase involved the clarification of the concept of spouse abuse, designing a survey instrument, and fine-tuning the survey instrument through validity and reliability testing. The second phase consisted of the recruitment process through a multistage sampling method and administration of the survey instrument. In total, 650 women consented to participate in this study. Thirty nine percent of women were victims of physical violence. Thirty percent of participants were frequently insulted and 24% of women were sometimes threatened by their husbands. The rate of physical violence decreased as the education level of either spouses increased. Twenty three percent of women believed that their husbands had the right to exert violence against them. Factors such as erroneous beliefs and traditions, gender inequality, lack of social support for abused women, low education level, and women's lack of knowledge about their rights play an important role in extending this social dilemma. Empowering women through education, increased access to financial services, and increased participation in decision making; and increasing public awareness of human rights through education and awareness campaigns are keys in dealing with violence against women in Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-441
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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