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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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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.

The Way to a Man’s Heart is through his Stomach?: A mixed methods study on the causal mechanisms through which cash and in-kind food transfers decreased intimate partner violence

AUTHOR(S)
A. M. Buller, M. Hidrobo, Amber Peterman, L. Heise

Published: 2016

Background

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is highly prevalent and has detrimental effects on the physical and mental health of women across the world. Despite emerging evidence on the impacts of cash transfers on intimate partner violence, the pathways through which reductions in violence occur remain under-explored. A randomised controlled trial of a cash and in-kind food transfer programme on the northern border of Ecuador showed that transfers reduced physical or sexual violence by 30 %. This mixed methods study aimed to understand the pathways that led to this reduction.

Methods

We conducted a mixed methods study that combined secondary analysis from a randomised controlled trial relating to the impact of a transfer programme on IPV with in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with male and female beneficiaries. A sequential analysis strategy was followed, whereby qualitative results guided the choice of variables for the quantitative analysis and qualitative insights were used to help interpret the quantitative findings.

Results

We found qualitative and quantitative evidence that the intervention led to reductions in IPV through three pathways operating at the couple, household and individual level: i) reduced day-to-day conflict and stress in the couple; ii) improved household well-being and happiness; and iii) increased women’s decision making, self-confidence and freedom of movement. We found little evidence that any type of IPV increased as a result of the transfers.

Discussion

While cash and in-kind transfers can be important programmatic tools for decreasing IPV, the positive effects observed in this study seem to depend on circumstances that may not exist in all settings or programmes, such as the inclusion of a training component. Moreover, the programme built upon rather than challenged traditional gender roles by targeting women as transfer beneficiaries and framing the intervention under the umbrella of food security and nutrition – domains traditionally ascribed to women.

Conclusions

Transfers destined for food consumption combined with nutrition training reduced IPV among marginalised households in northern Ecuador. Evidence suggests that these reductions were realised by decreasing stress and conflict, improving household well-being, and enhancing women’s decision making, self-confidence and freedom of movement.

The Effect of Cash, Vouchers and Food Transfers on Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Northern Ecuador

AUTHOR(S)
M. Hidrobo, Amber Peterman, L. Heise

Published: 2016
Using a randomized experiment in Ecuador, this study provides evidence on whether cash, vouchers, and food transfers targeted to women and intended to reduce poverty and food insecurity also affected intimate partner violence. Results indicate that transfers reduce controlling behaviors and physical and/or sexual violence by 6 to 7 percentage points. Impacts do not vary by transfer modality, which provides evidence that transfers not only have the potential to decrease violence in the short-term, but also that cash is just as effective as in-kind transfers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 284–303 | Tags: cash transfers, gender based violence
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.
Gender Justice and (In)security in Pakistan and Afghanistan

AUTHOR(S)
Bina D'Costa

Published: 2016
This article argues that gender justice becomes a politicised issue in counterproductive ways in conflict zones. Despite claims of following democratic principles, cultural norms have often taken precedence over ensuring gender-sensitive security practices on the ground. The rightness of the ‘war on terror’ justified by evoking fear and enforced through colonial methods of surveillance, torture, and repression in counter-terrorism measures, reproduces colonial strategies of governance. In the current context, the postcolonial sovereign state with its colonial memories and structures of violence attempts to control women’s identities. This article analyses some of these debates within the context of Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s security dynamics. It begins with the premise that a deliberate focus on the exclusion and limitation of women in Muslim and traditional societies sustains and reinforces the stereotypes of women as silent and silenced actors only. However, while the control of women within and beyond the nexus of patriarchal family'society'state is central to extremist ideologies and institutionalisation practices, women’s vulnerabilities and insecurities increase in times of conflict not only because of the action of religious forces, but also because of ‘progressive’, ‘secular’, ‘humanitarian’ interventions.
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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