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NCJ Number: 230228 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence Against Women: Systematic Review of Prevalence Studies
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:25  Issue:4  Dated:May 2010  Pages:369-382
Author(s): Samia Alhabib; Ula Nur; Roger Jones
Date Published: May 2010
Page Count: 13
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article systematically summarizes studies on the prevalence of domestic violence against women to evaluate the quality of the studies and to determine the reasons for variation in prevalence rates between the studies.
Abstract: To systematically review the worldwide evidence on the prevalence of domestic violence against women, to evaluate the quality of studies, and to account for variation in prevalence between studies, using consistent definitions and explicit, rigorous methods. Systematic review of prevalence studies on domestic violence against women. Literature searches of six databases were undertaken for the period 1995 to 2006. Medline, Embase, Cinahl, ASSIA, ISI, and International Bibliography of the Social Sciences were searched, supplemented by hand searching of the reference lists from studies retrieved and specialized interdisciplinary journals on violence. A total of 134 studies in English on the prevalence of domestic violence against women, including women aged 18 to 65 years, but excluding women with specific disabilities or diseases, containing primary, empirical research data, were included in the systematic review. Studies were scored on eight pre-determined criteria and stratified according to the total quality score. The majority of the studies were conducted in North America (41 percent), followed by Europe (20 percent). Fifty-six percent of studies were population-based, and 17 percent were carried out either in primary or community health care settings. There was considerable heterogeneity both between and within geographical locations, health care settings, and study quality. The prevalence of lifetime domestic violence varies from 1.9 percent in Washington, United States, to 70 percent in Hispanic Latinas in Southeast United States. Only 12 percent scored a maximum of 8 on our quality criteria, with 27 percent studies scored 7, and 17 percent scored 6. The mean lifetime prevalence of all types of violence was found to be highest in studies conducted in psychiatric and obstetric/gynecology clinics. Results of this review emphasize that violence against women has reached epidemic proportions in many societies. Accurate measurement of the prevalence of domestic violence remains problematic and further culturally sensitive research is required to develop more effective preventive policies and programs. Figures, tables, appendix, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Abused women; Abusing spouses; Behavioral science research; Domestic relations; Domestic violence causes; Family offenses
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