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Factors Influencing Attitudes to Violence Against Women

NCJ Number
Trauma, Violence, and Abuse Volume: 10 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2009 Pages: 125-142
Michael Flood; Bob Pease
Date Published
April 2009
18 pages
This article reviews the factors that shape attitudes toward violence against women.
Results show two clusters of factors that have a multilevel influence on attitudes. Both gender and culture are powerful influences on attitudes, and both operate at micro- and macro-levels including individual socialization, the norms and relations of particular contexts and communities, and the society-wide workings of the media, law, and other factors. Gender and culture intersect, in that different cultural contexts involve particular norms and relations of gender that shape attitudes toward violence against women. A wide range of other influences on attitudes operate among individuals, organizations, communities, or in society as a whole, and many of these operate on more than one level. Findings suggest that efforts to improve attitudes toward violence against women should be guided by five assumptions: (1) the process of changing attitudes must be located within a project of changing familial, organizational, communal, and societal norms that support violence against women; (2) interventions must address not only those attitudes that are condoning violence against women but also wider clusters of attitudes related to gender and sexuality that normalize violence; (3) efforts to address violence-supportive attitudes must also work to provide a set of norms and values centered on nonviolence and gender equality; (4) violence prevention interventions must be culturally appropriate; and (5) interventions must be accompanied by changes in structural relations and social practices if violence against women is to be prevented. References