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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

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.

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

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.

COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence

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.

Still a leap of faith: Microfinance for prevention of violence against women and girls in low- and middle-income settings

Amber Peterman, Tia Palermo, Giulia Ferrari

Published: 2018
Economic strengthening interventions, including microfinance initiatives have been proposed as promising strategies to reduce interpersonal violence in low-income and middle-income settings. Despite these recommendations, there is little rigorous empirical evidence that microfinance alone or synergistically with gender norms or equity training can reduce violence against children or intimate partner violence.
  • We call for further investments in evidence generation around economic strengthening before scaling-up potentially ineffective interventions

  • A mixed-method review of Intimate partner violence and cash transfers in low- and middle-income countries

    A.M. Buller, Amber Peterman, M. Raganathan, A. Bleile, M. Hidrobo, L. Heise

    Published: 2018
    There is increasing evidence that cash transfer (CT) programs decrease intimate partner violence (IPV). However, little is known about how CTs achieve this impact. We conducted a mixed-method review of studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Fourteen quantitative and eight qualitative studies met our inclusion criteria, of which eleven and five, respectively, demonstrated evidence that CTs decrease IPV. We found little support for increases in IPV, with only two studies showing overall mixed or adverse impacts. Drawing on these studies, as well as related bodies of evidence, we developed a program theory proposing three pathways through which CT could impact IPV: (a) economic security and emotional well-being, (b) intra-household conflict, and (c) women's empowerment. The economic security and well-being pathway hypothesizes decreases in IPV, while the other two pathways have ambiguous effects depending on program design features and behavioral responses to program components. Future studies should improve IPV measurement, empirical analysis of program mechanisms, and fill regional gaps. Program framing and complementary activities, including those with the ability to shift intra-household power relations are likely to be important design features for understanding how to maximize and leverage the impact of CTs for reducing IPV, and mitigating potential adverse impacts. Intimate partner violence. Domestic violence. Cash transfers. Women's empowerment
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