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Journal Article


Barnawi FH. J. Interpers. Violence 2017; 32(8): 1171-1186.


Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


(Copyright © 2017, SAGE Publishing)






Domestic violence (DV) against women can negatively affect the physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health of the women as well as the well-being of their children. The objective was to estimate among Saudi women the prevalence of different types of DV, to identify its associated risk factors, and to determine the immediate victims' reactions to such violence. A cross-sectional study was carried between March and July, 2011. Self-administrated questionnaire was administered to ever-married Saudi women attending Al-Wazarat primary health care center, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Out of the 720 women studied, 144 (20%) reported exposure to DV over the last year. The most common DV types were emotional (69%), social (34%), economic (26%), physical (20%), and sexual violence (10%). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the following characteristics were independently associated with DV: younger women age, longer duration of marriage, higher women education, lower husband education, working husbands, military occupation, fewer children, husbands with multiple wives, smoking husbands, aggressive husbands, presence of chronic disease in women or husbands, and non-sufficient family income. The most common impacts of DV on women were medical or behavioral problems (72%) and psychiatric problems (58%). The most common reactions to DV were seeking separation (56%) and doing nothing (41%). More than 90% of children of abused women suffered psychological or behavioral problems. In conclusion, DV against Saudi women is considerable and the response is generally passive. Promoting a culture non-tolerant to DV and providing accessible, effective, and trustful social services to abused women are critically needed.

Language: en


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