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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

High prevalence of domestic violence in coastal Vietnam and local perspectives on why intimate domestic violence occurs

Pham Vu Thien, MD, MSc1, Bui Thanh Mai, MD, MSc1, Tran Hung Minh, MD, MSc1, Sidney Ruth Schuler, PhD2, Hoang Tu Anh, MD, MSc1, and Vu Song Ha, MD, MPH1. (1) Consultation of Investment in Health Promotion (CIHP), 108 A12 Alley 4/15 Phuong Mai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, 84-4-5770261, thien@cihp.org, (2) Center for Applied Behavioral and Evaluation Research, Empowerment of Women Research Program, Academy for Educational Development, 1825 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009

There is a great deal of evidence that domestic violence is pervasive throughout Vietnam. Our study surveyed 465 married couples living in Cualo, a coastal district of central Vietnam and found that half of the men responded that they had ever hit their wife, with 86.5 percent reporting that they hit their wife 2-3 times per year. Forty percent of the women reported being hit by their husbands in the last year, and 18.5 percent received significant injuries as a result. From our survey, we also found that incidence of domestic violence is strongly correlated with the level of gender equity among the couples, educational levels and the proportion of the woman's household economic contribution.

Qualitative interviews revealed the influence of traditional norms which dictate that men retain the greatest power within the family. Practices of domestic violence are sometimes seen as a method of re-establishing the power balance between husband and wife. This is considered reasonable since men are "hot" or aggressive, and woman are "cold," a difference that may necessitate that husbands "teach" their wives, even through hitting and slapping. Alcohol abuse, economic and social pressures were also discussed by participants as reasons why domestic violence occurs. Findings from this study contribute to our understanding of the socio-cultural context surrounding domestic violence, and programs to prevent and deal with domestic violence in Vietnam may improve their effectiveness by considering these factors as highly relevant to the population they aim to serve.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) will be able to

    Keywords: Domestic Violence, Gender

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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