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Journal Article


Ghazizadeh A. Ann. Epidemiol. 2002; 12(7): 525.


(Copyright © 2002, American College of Epidemiology, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)






PURPOSE: In the past few years violence against wives has become documented with increasing frequency. It occurs at all social levels, though some authors have claimed that it is much more frequent in poor families. The aim of this research was to determine the prevalence of domestic physical violence against women and associated factors during 2000 in Sanandaj city, Iran.
METHODS: A random sample of 1000 married women, resident in Sanan-daj city, Iran, were administered a standardized interview and completed a 23-part questionnaire during 2000. This was a cross- sectional study. Sanandaj city is divided into 16 urban health centers; each health center has a health file for each household. The number of women selected from each health center was proportional to the size of the population served by each center. The questionnaire included the following variables: age, educational level of wife and husband, the woman's occupation; the number of children (number of sons), the age of the husband and wife at marriage, the length of the marriage, the number of episodes of spousal violence in the past year, and the respondent's opinion about the reason for spousal violence and strategies for prevention. Subjects were interviewed by students of the Medical University of Kurdistan. The interviewers underwent standardized training.
RESULTS: 15% and 38% of the women responding to the questionnaire reported being assaulted by their husbands during the past year or at some point during their marriage, respectively, on 1 to 11 or more different occasions. Economic problems were the most frequent reported cause of domestic quarrels. There was a significant association between the husband's and wife's educational level and occurrence of violent behavior committed against the wife (p = 0.001); approximately 10% of episodes, however, occurred in women whose husbands had a high educational degree. The husband's job was also significantly associated with occurrence of violent behavior committed against his wife.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms a high frequency of physical violence against women by their husbands. Cultural education and supportive measures are essential to reduce this behavior.


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