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The Co-Occurrence of Intimate Partner Violence and Violence Against Children: A Systematic Review on Associated Factors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

AUTHOR(S)
Franziska Meinck, Isabelle Pearson, Floriza Gennari, Sabrina Page, Alessandra Guedes, Cathy Zimmerman, Heidi Stockl

Published: 2022

Violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) are public health issues of global concern. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a commonly occurring form of VAW and there is evidence to suggest that IPV and VAC frequently co-occur within the same families. This systematic literature review searched for studies published in any language between 1st January 2000 to 16th February 2021 and identified 33 studies that provided findings for co-occurring IPV and VAC in 24 low- and middleincome countries (PROSPERO: CRD42020180179). These studies were split into subgroups based on the types of cooccurring violence they present and meta-analyses were conducted to calculate pooled odds ratios (ORs) within these subgroups. Our results indicate a significant association between IPV and VAC, with all pooled ORs showing a significant positive association between the two. Almost half of the studies focused exclusively on co-occurrence between male-to-female IPV and female caregiver-to-child VAC; few authors reported on male caregiver-to-child violence. Only three studies identified risk factors for co-occurring IPV and VAC, and those that did suggested conflicting findings on the risks associated with maternal age, alcohol and drug use, and parental education level. We also found incongruity in the violence definitions and measurements used across studies. Future research should aim to develop more consistent definitions and measurements for co-occurrence and move beyond solely examining dyadic and unidirectional violence occurrence in families; this will allow us to better understand the interrelationships between these different forms of abuse.

Co-occurring violent discipline of children and intimate partner violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic search and secondary analysis of national datasets

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Bott, Ana P Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza, Alessandra Guedes

Published: 2021

This study aimed to determine how many Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries had national data on co-occurring IPV and violent discipline in the same household, how estimates compared and whether violent discipline was significantly associated with IPV. Nine countries had eligible datasets. Co-occurring physical punishment with past year IPV ranged from 1.7% (Nicaragua) to 17.5% (Bolivia); and with IPV ever from 6.0% (Nicaragua) to 21.2% (Haiti). In almost all countries, children in IPV affected households experienced significantly higher levels and ORs of physical punishment and verbal aggression, whether IPV occurred during or before the past year. Significant adjusted ORs of physical punishment ranged from 1.52 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.10) in Jamaica to 3.63 (95% CI 3.26 to 4.05) in Mexico for past year IPV; and from 1.50 (95% CI 1.23 to 1.83) in Nicaragua to 2.52 (95% CI 2.30 to 2.77) in Mexico for IPV before past year. IPV is a significant risk factor for violent discipline, but few national surveys in LAC measure both. Co-occurrence merits greater attention from policymakers and researchers.

Government Anti-Poverty Programming and Intimate Partner Violence in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Elsa Valli, Tia Palermo

Published: 2021

We examine whether a government cash transfer program, paired with a health insurance premium waiver and targeted to pregnant women and mothers of young children in Ghana, reduced intimate partner violence (IPV). The evaluation took place in two northern regions and followed a 24-month longitudinal quasi-experimental design. Findings show significant decreases in the 12-month frequency of emotional, physical and combined IPV (0.09 – 0.12 standard deviations). Analysis of pathways indicate improvements in economic security and women’s empowerment may account for reductions in IPV. Results indicate a promising role for social protection in improving the lives of pregnant women and new mothers.

Intimate partner violence in the Americas: a systematic review and reanalysis of national prevalence estimates

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Bott, Alessandra Guedes, Ana P. Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza

Published: 2021

Objetivo. Describir lo que se sabe acerca de la prevalencia nacional de la violencia por parte de la pareja íntima (VPI) contra las mujeres en las Américas, en los diversos países y en el transcurso del tiempo, incluida la cobertura geográfica, calidad y comparabilidad de los datos nacionales. 

Métodos. Se realizó una revisión sistemática y reanálisis de las estimativas nacionales de la VPI basadas en la población de 1998 a 2017 en las Américas. Las cifras se reanalizaron para comparabilidad o se extrajeron de los informes, incluida la prevalencia por tipo (física; sexual; o física y/o sexual), marco temporal (alguna vez;
durante el último año) y perpetrador (cualquiera pareja en la vida; pareja actual/más reciente). En los países con tres (3+) rondas de datos, se aplicaron las pruebas de Cochran-Armitage y de ji cuadrada de Pearson para evaluar si los cambios en el transcurso del tiempo fueron significativos (p < 0,05).

Resultados. Se encontraron encuestas elegibles en 24 países. Las mujeres reportaron haber sufrido alguna vez violencia física y/o sexual por parte de la pareja íntima con tasas que variaron desde el 14% a 17% en Brasil, Panamá y Uruguay hasta más de la mitad (58,5%) en Bolivia. La prevalencia de violencia física y/o sexual por parte de la pareja íntima durante el último año varió desde 1,1% en el Canadá hasta 27,1% en Bolivia. La evidencia preliminar sugiere una posible disminución en la prevalencia reportada para ciertos tipos de VPI en ocho países; sin embargo, algunos cambios fueron pequeños, ciertos indicadores no se modificaron significativamente y se observaron incrementos significativos en la prevalencia reportada de violencia física por parte de la pareja íntima durante el último año en la República Dominicana.

Conclusiones. La VPI contra las mujeres sigue siendo un problema de salud pública y de derechos humanos en las Américas; sin embargo, la base de evidencia al respecto tiene deficiencias, lo que apunta a la necesidad de datos de mejor calidad y más comparables, a fin de movilizar y monitorear a la prevención y la
respuesta ante la violencia.

Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Alina Potts, Megan O'Donnell, Kelly Thompson, Niyati Shah, Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Nicole van Geltert

Published: 2020
Times of economic uncertainty, civil unrest and disaster are linked to a myriad of risk factors for increased violence against women and children (VAW/C). Pandemics are no exception. In fact, the regional or global nature and associated fear and uncertainty associated with pandemics provide an enabling environment that may exacerbate or spark diverse forms of violence. Understanding mechanisms underlying these dynamics are important for crafting policy and program responses to mitigate adverse effects. Based on existing published and grey literature, we document nine main (direct and indirect) pathways linking pandemics and VAW/C, through effects of (on):(1) economic insecurity and poverty-related stress, (2) quarantines and social isolation, (3) disaster and conflict-related unrest and instability, (4) exposure to exploitative relationships due to changing demographics, (5) reduced health service availability and access to first responders, (6) inability of women to temporarily escape abusive partners, (7) virus-specific sources of violence, (8) exposure to violence and coercion in response efforts, and (9) violence perpetrated against health care workers. We also suggest additional pathways with limited or anecdotal evidence likely to effect smaller sub-groups. Based on these mechanisms, we suggest eight policy and program responses for action by governments, civil society, international and community-based organizations. Finally, as research linking pandemics directly to diverse forms of VAW/C is scarce, we lay out a research agenda comprising three main streams, to better (1) understand the magnitude of the problem, (2) elucidate mechanisms and linkages with other social and economic factors and (3) inform intervention and response options. We hope this paper can be used by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to help inform further evidence generation and policy action while situating VAW/C within the broader need for intersectional gender- and feminist-informed pandemic response.
COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence

AUTHOR(S)
N. van Gelder, Amber Peterman, Alina Potts

Published: 2020
The ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of the acute respiratory distress syndrome COVID-19, is placing unprecedented stress on healthcare systems and societies as a whole. The rapid spread of the virus in the absence of targeted therapies or a vaccine, is forcing countries to respond with strong preventative measures ranging from mitigation to containment. In extreme cases, quarantines are being imposed, limiting mobility to varying degrees.
While quarantines are an effective measure of infection control, they can lead to significant social, economic and psychological consequences. Social distancing fosters isolation; exposes personal and collective vulnerabilities while limiting accessible and familiar support options. The inability to work has immediate economic repercussions and deprives many individuals of essential livelihoods and health care benefits. Psychological consequences may range from stress, frustration and anger to severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A recent review drawing on lessons from past pandemics shows the length of quarantine increases the risk for serious psychological consequences.

List randomization for soliciting experience of intimate partner violence: Application to the evaluation of Zambia's unconditional child grant program

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Tia Palermo, Sudhanshu Handa, David Seidenfeld

Published: 2017

Social scientists have increasingly invested in understanding how to improve data quality and measurement of sensitive topics in household surveys. We utilize the technique of list randomization to collect measures of physical intimate partner violence in an experimental impact evaluation of the Government of Zambia's Child Grant Program. The Child Grant Program is an unconditional cash transfer, which targeted female caregivers of children under the age of 5 in rural areas to receive the equivalent of US $24 as a bimonthly stipend. The implementation results show that the list randomization methodology functioned as planned, with approximately 15% of the sample identifying 12-month prevalence of physical intimate partner violence. According to this measure, after 4 years, the program had no measurable effect on partner violence. List randomization is a promising approach to incorporate sensitive measures into multitopic evaluations; however, more research is needed to improve upon methodology for application to measurement of violence.

Women’s Individual Asset Ownership and Experience of Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence From 28 International Surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Audrey Pereira, Jennifer Bleck, Tia Palermo, Kathryn M. Yount

Published: 2017

Objectives. To assess the oft-perceived protective relationship between women’s asset ownership and experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the previous 12 months.

Methods. We used international survey data from women aged 15 to 49 years from 28 Demographic and Health Surveys (2010–2014) to examine the association between owning assets and experience of recent IPV, matching on household wealth by using multivariate probit models. Matching methods helped to account for the higher probability that women in wealthier households also have a higher likelihood of owning assets.

Results. Asset ownership of any type was negatively associated with IPV in 3 countries, positively associated in 5 countries, and had no significant relationship in 20 countries (P < .10). Disaggregation by asset type, sole or joint ownership, women’s age, and community level of women’s asset ownership similarly showed no conclusive patterns.

Conclusions. Results suggest that the relationship between women’s asset ownership and IPV is highly context specific. Additional methodologies and data are needed to identify causality, and to understand how asset ownership differs from other types of women’s economic empowerment.

Is Routine Screening for Intimate Partner Violence Feasible in Public Health Care Settings in Kenya?

AUTHOR(S)
C. C. Undie, Mary Catherine Maternowska, M. Mak'anyengo, I. Askew

Published: 2016
More than a third of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-partner sexual violence. The short- and long-term health effects of violence can be disabling if left undetected. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that Africa is one of the regions with the highest prevalence of physical and/or sexual IPV among ever-partnered women. Routine screening for IPV can potentially improve the care and treatment of women suffering from violence. Although routine screening is commonplace in European and American countries, health systems barriers in developing countries have deterred introduction of this practice. Results from this feasibility study indicate that providers are willing and able to incorporate IPV screening into their practice and that IPV screening in a variety of health care settings in a public hospital is feasible and welcomed by clients. Referral uptake by women suffering from IPV was low compared with provider referral rates, but ways in which referral and management services could be improved were identified.
Age and Intimate Partner Violence: An analysis of global trends among women experiencing victimization in 30 developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, J. Bleck, Tia Palermo

Published: 2015

Purpose

Young women are at elevated risk of violence victimization, yet generalizable evidence on age at which abuse first occurs is lacking. This analysis provides new descriptive evidence on age and duration into partnership of women's first intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization.

Methods

Data come from ever married women ages of 15–49 years in nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys in 30 countries collected from 2005 to 2014 in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Descriptive analysis is performed.

Results

Approximately 29.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 28.8, 29.3) of women reported any physical or sexual IPV. Among ever married women who first experienced violence post-union, abuse began, on average, 3.5 years (95% CI 3.4, 3.5), after union formation. Approximately 38.5% (95% CI 37.9, 39.0) and 67.5% (95% CI 67.0, 68.1) of those ever experiencing abuse did so within 1 year and 3 years, respectively, of union formation. Regionally, average years into union of abuse initiation showed little variation and average age at first abuse among once married women is 22.1 years.

Conclusions

Results imply that primary prevention for IPV must take place on average before first union before age 19 years, to capture the most relevant and at risk target population. Resources allocated toward risk factors in childhood and adolescence may be most effective in combating initiation of IPV globally. Despite this finding, there remains a lack of evidence on effective interventions for primary prevention of abuse during women's early years in developing settings.

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