Friday, 10 April 2009

Domestic violence: in Asian societies look for influence of the inlaws

The model of domestic violence abroad in the world has at times been criticised as a "white bread" model- all pervasive, one size fits all model. It involves typically a man who is violent and controlling to his partner, a woman.

Unfortunately, life is not so simple, and the reality is that some women are violent to their men, and unfortunately in some gay and lesbian relationships domestic violence exists too.

I mention this because of some research from Hong Kong I stumbled across. Researchers went to 7 hospitals and interviewed over 3000 pregnant women. About 9% reported having been abused by their partners in the preceding year.

In-law conflict was the characteristic most significantly associated with preceding-year abuse against pregnant women, after controlling for covariates. Findings underscore the need to obtain information on in-law conflict as a risk factor for interpersonal violence. In-law conflict should be included in the assessment of risk for interpersonal violence. For the prevention of interpersonal violence, family-based intervention is needed to work with victims as well as in-laws.

This research backs up some stories that I have been told by female Asian/Australian clients- that they were assaulted:
  • by their husbands for allegedly showing "disrespect" to his parents, typically his mother;
  • or assaulted by their mother-in law for showing her "disrespect" which caused a loss of face.

For an abstract of the research, click here.

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