Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Family and community driven response to intimate partner violence in post-conflict settings

TitleFamily and community driven response to intimate partner violence in post-conflict settings
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKohli, A, Perrin, N, Mpanano, RM, Banywesize, L, Mirindi, AB, Banywesize, JH, Mitima, CM, Binkurhorhwa, AK, Bufole, NM, Glass, N
JournalSoc Sci Med
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number0277-9536
Accession Number26497097
Keywordsalcohol consumption, article, behavior change, Congo, controlled study, coping behavior, Democratic Republic of Congo, Family and community response, FAMILY conflict, family structure, Female, household, human, Intimate partner violence, Male, Partner violence, physical violence, Post-conflict, Qualitative Research, Risk Assessment, risk factor, social behavior, social conflict, social status, Social Stigma, Social Support, Suidae, Violence, wellbeing

This study explores risk factors, individual and family consequences and community-driven responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) in post-conflict eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This qualitative study was conducted in 3 rural villages in South Kivu Province of DRC, an area that has experienced prolonged conflict. Participants included 13 female survivors and 5 male perpetrators of IPV as reported during baseline data collection for the parent study, an impact evaluation of the Congolese-led livestock microfinance program, Pigs for Peace. Participants described social and behavioral circumstances that increase risk for IPV; social, health and economic consequences on women and their families; and resources to protect women and their families. Social and behavioral factors reported by survivors and perpetrators indicate that IPV was linked to husband's alcohol consumption, household economic instability, male desire to maintain his position as head of family and perceived disrespect of husband by wife. In addition to well-known health consequences of IPV, women reported negative social consequences, such as stigma, resulting in barriers for the well-being of the family. Survivors and perpetrators described the impact of IPV on their children, specifically the lack of proper parental guidance and lack of safety and stability that could result in the child(ren) misbehaving and using violence in their relationships resulting in further stigma towards the child and family. Strategies employed by survivors to protect themselves and family, include placating male behaviors (e.g., not responding to insults, trying to meet household demands). Perpetrators that tried to reduce the impact of IPV reported a preference for social and financial control of their partner rather than physical violence, believing this to be less severe. Participants described community and family based social support systems including couple's mediation, responsible partner and fatherhood programs and economic activities that can influence behavior, maintain confidentiality, address social stigma and other multi-level outcomes.