Intimate partner violence attitudes and experience among women and men in Uganda

Ilene S Speizer
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2010, 25 (7): 1224-41
This study examines intimate partner violence (IPV) attitudes and experience among women and men in Uganda to inform IPV-prevention programs in the region. Nationally representative population-based data from women aged 15 to 49 and men aged 15 to 54 were collected between May and October 2006 as part of the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. The survey included questions on women's and men's attitudes toward wife beating and information on IPV victimization (women) and perpetration (men). More than half of men and nearly three quarters of women have attitudes supportive of wife beating in Uganda. More than half of married women report IPV victimization, and 40% of married men report perpetration. Women and men who reported witnessing their fathers beating their mothers were more likely to report IPV victimization (perpetration for men). Witnessing violence was also associated with positive attitudes toward wife beating among men. IPV-prevention programs need to address the important role of having witnessed wife beating between the mother and the father on men's subsequent attitudes and behaviors. Women who witnessed wife beating are also the most likely to have supportive attitudes and IPV experience, possibly indicating that their relationship expectations are different than women who did not witness violence. Community-based prevention programs targeting men and women are needed in Uganda and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa where gender norms that justify IPV prevail.

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