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Involving the health care system in domestic violence: what women want

Author(s) Usta, Jinan, Jumana Antown, Bruce Ambuel and Marwan Khawaja
Title Involving the health care system in domestic violence: what women want
Source Annals of Family Medicine, May/June 2012, Volume 10, No. 3, pp213-220
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Coverage Lebanon
Summary In this study the authors explored Lebanese women's opinions of primary health care clinics taking a proactive role in addressing domestic violence. Focus groups were conducted with 72 women who discussed a number of related topics, including whether health care should play a role in responding to victims of domestic violence, how men would react to this, how health care professionals should respond to disclosures of domestic violence and whether there were any cultural and community barriers. It was found that most women were enthusiastic about the health care system addressing domestic violence, with diverse opinions about who should ask about domestic violence. Some women preferred to talk to a doctor and others preferred a social worker. Several barriers were identified, such as the cost of services, lack of confidentiality and fears of retribution and increased violence. The study suggested that fear of retaliation by the spouse may be more pronounced among Arab women and would include concerns about being separated from their children as well as increasing violence. The women participating in the focus groups suggested that a mass media and community education campaign would be needed to support the health system responding to domestic violence.
Keywords Domestic violence; community support; Arab women; barriers; Lebanon.
Topic Domestic violence