JOURNAL ARTICLE

Risk factors for men's lifetime perpetration of physical violence against intimate partners: results from the international men and gender equality survey (IMAGES) in eight countries

Paul J Fleming, Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Matthew Morton, Ruti Levtov, Brian Heilman, Gary Barker
PloS One 2015, 10 (3): e0118639
25734544
This paper examines men's lifetime physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration across eight low- and middle-income countries to better understand key risk factors that interventions can target in order to promote gender equality and reduce IPV. We use data from men (n = 7806) that were collected as part of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), India, Mexico, and Rwanda. Results show that there is wide variation across countries for lifetime self-reported physical violence perpetration (range: 17% in Mexico to 45% in DRC), men's support for equal roles for men and women, and acceptability of violence against women. Across the sample, 31% of men report having perpetrated physical violence against a partner in their lifetime. In multivariate analyses examining risk factors for men ever perpetrating physical violence against a partner, witnessing parental violence was the strongest risk factor, reinforcing previous research suggesting the inter-generational transmission of violence. Additionally, having been involved in fights not specifically with an intimate partner, permissive attitudes towards violence against women, having inequitable gender attitudes, and older age were associated with a higher likelihood of ever perpetrating physical IPV. In separate analyses for each country, we found different patterns of risk factors in countries with high perpetration compared to countries with low perpetration. Findings are interpreted to identify key knowledge gaps and directions for future research, public policies, evaluation, and programming.

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