gms | German Medical Science

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007

17. bis 21.09.2007, Augsburg

Beliefs and attitudes towards intimate partner violence in Palestinian women of reproductive age

Meeting Abstract

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  • Enas Dhaher - University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld
  • Rafael Mikolajczyk - University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007. Augsburg, 17.-21.09.2007. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2007. Doc07gmds065

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 6, 2007

© 2007 Dhaher et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Violence by intimate partner occurs in every country and society. However, in many developing countries the problem is aggravated by its wide cultural acceptance.

Objective: To investigate attitudes towards wife beating among women in Palestine and their determinants.

Method: A cross-sectional study of 450 women of reproductive age (15-49 years) was conducted in three regions in West Bank Palestine (Jenin, Ramallah, Hebron). Women were asked about their attitudes towards wife beating in six situations. If all answers were “no”, women were classified as rejecting wife beating, if any of the answers was “yes” women were classified as accepting beating.

Results: 64.7 % of women in Palestine believed that wife beating was justified in at least one of the six situations. Respondents were most likely to find wife beating justified if a wife “insults her husband” (59.3%), “disobeys her husband” (49.3%), or “neglects her children” (36.9%), less accepted was beating in situations when the wife “goes out without telling him” (25.3%), “argues with him” (10.7 %) or” burns the food” (5.1 %). There was a significant difference between the three regions with a higher acceptance of wife beating in Jenin. Acceptance of violence was higher when women were less educated or were unemployed.

Conclusions: Although there are, some differences in what reasons are seen as acceptable to justify it, domestic violence is widely accepted in Palestine. Better education and employment of women might increase their rejection of domestic violence.


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