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What We Know About Intimate Partner Violence in the Middle East and North Africa

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 53-70
Angie Boy; Andrzej Kulczycki
Date Published
January 2008
18 pages
This review synthesizes and critically evaluates the literature on intimate partner violence in the Middle East and North Africa.
Violence against women is common throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) is more apparent in those countries for which at least some studies exist, yet the limited available evidence suggests that IPV is a severe and chronically underreported problem across the region. An especially troubling finding is the widespread tolerance, by both men and women, of IPV. Most victims are unable or unwilling to seek help from legal authorities or from health care providers. Victims show passive acceptance of the abuse and are unlikely to attempt to change the situation. IPV is increasingly being recognized as a problem in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Although a number of studies have reported on particular aspects of gender-biased violence in the Middle East and North Africa, to date there has been very little research on violence against women committed by their intimate partners. Through a review of the literature, this article discusses attitudes and beliefs regarding the acceptability of IPV and the difficulties victims face when trying to seek help. Gaps are highlighted in scholarship, prevention, and care activities, along with future directions in these areas. Tables, notes, and references


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