265893 Displacement, gender role transitions, and intimate partner violence: A qualitative study in Cartagena, Colombia

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Michelle Hynes, PhD, MPH , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Claire E. Sterk, PhD , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Shilpa N. Patel, PhD, MPH , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Monique Hennink, PhD , Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Laura De Padilla, PhD , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Kathryn Yount, PhD , Hubert Department of Global Health and Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Colombia has one of the largest internally displaced populations (IDPs) of any country in the world. Conflict-related displacement is an understudied risk factor for intimate partner violence (IPV). Colombian IDPs are exposed to factors associated with IPV risk such as economic hardship and the breakdown of social support systems. Prevalence of physical IPV among Colombian displaced women has been found to be as high as 50%. Thirty-three in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with displaced partnered Colombian women 18-49 years. Collaborating with a local women's organization working in the community, we explored how the experience of displacement alters gendered roles and expectations in ways that may influence the risk of IPV. Both men and women held traditional gender norms of men as financial providers and women as responsible for the household. However, underemployment of men dictated modification of those roles by both partners. Women experienced IPV from partners who reacted adversely to the stress of not being able to provide financially for their families. Women who worked outside the home experienced IPV by partners who viewed this work as transgressive. Men's failure to provide for the family and women supplementing men's income were perceived as a threat to local norms of masculinity. The complex relationships between community context, traditional gender norms, and the ways in which displaced men's and women's employment failed to conform to those norms affect the quality of intimate relationships. The findings also suggest ways in which measurement of IPV risk factors might be improved globally.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain 2-3 reasons for the why the experience of displacement contributes to intimate partner violence. Describe the conflict between economic conditions and gender roles and expectations in this displaced community. Discuss ways in which programs addressing intimate partner violence may take these findings into account.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the work presented as part of my doctoral research at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.