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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Title Responses to and resources for intimate partner violence: qualitative findings from women, men, and service providers in rural Kenya
Volume 29
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 783-805
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3910289/
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is reported by one in five women globally, but the prevalence is much higher in East Africa. Though some formal and informal resources do exist for women experiencing IPV, data suggest that disclosure, help seeking, and subsequent utilization of these resources are often hindered by socio-cultural, economic, and institutional factors. This paper explores actions taken by victims, available support services, and barriers to utilization of available IPV resources by pregnant women in rural Nyanza, Kenya. Qualitative data were collected through 9 focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews with pregnant women, partners or male relatives of pregnant women, and service providers. Data were managed in NVivo 8 using a descriptive analytical approach that harnessed thematic content coding and in-depth grounded analysis. We found that while formal resources for IPV were scarce, women utilized many informal resources (family, pastors, local leaders) as well as the health facility. In rare occasions, women escalated their response to formal services (police, judiciary). The community was sometimes responsive to women experiencing IPV, but often viewed it as a “normal” part of local culture. Further barriers to women accessing services included logistical challenges and providers who were under-trained or uncommitted to responding to IPV appropriately. Moreover, the very sanctions meant to address violence (such as fines or jail) were often inhibiting for women who depended on their partners for financial resources. The results suggest that future IPV interventions should address community views around IPV and build upon locally available resources – including the health clinic - to address violence among women of child-bearing age.

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