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Publication - Dr Lynnmarie Sardinha

    Attitudes to domestic violence in 49 low- and middle-income countries: A multi-level approach to primary prevention


    Sardinha, L, 2017, ‘Attitudes to domestic violence in 49 low- and middle-income countries: A multi-level approach to primary prevention’.


    This study identifies systemic macro-level social, political and economic factors that are predictors of attitudes to domestic violence against women (DV) in low- and middle-income countries across all geographic regions, and to identify the differences in patterns of association between these geographical and cultural settings. While attitudes to DV have been shown to be one of the strongest
    predictors of DV perpetration and victimisation at the individual/household level, these attitudes may be even more strongly predictive of behaviour at the aggregate level. This study seeks to establish an evidence base informing prevention policies and interventions by examining how these different
    macro-level factors such as women’s labour force participation, women’s participation in public life, the reform of discriminatory family laws, female completion rate of secondary school, the existence of laws on violence against women and a country’s social development and economic inequalities
    influence attitudes towards DV across national and geographic settings.
    This study analyses secondary data from nationally-representative household surveys – the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). All low- and middle-income countries with comparable data on both women’s and men’s attitudes towards DV, and women’s empowerment are included in this study. The OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index is being used as a source of data on discriminatory social institutions and laws and sources of metadata on economic empowerment and social development include the International Labour Organisation’s Key Indicators of the Labour Market; UNESCO Institute of Statistics; the World Bank’s World Development Indicators; the United Nations Development Program’s Gender Inequality Index. Given the importance of social norms and attitudes in shaping the contours of acceptable behaviour, this study fills an important gap in evidence by identifying the systemic macro-level factors associated these attitudes justifying domestic violence and makes a much needed contribution to research and policy aimed at the DV prevention.

    Full details in the University publications repository