Biomedical Research

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Investigating the socio-demographic properties of women in shelters and the characteristics of violence that they are exposed

Objectives: Domestic violence against women is a violation of basic human rights and freedom which is a major social problem in our country and worldwide. This cross-sectional, descriptive research aimed to investigate women’s socio-demographic properties and characteristics of domestic violence they were exposed to, demonstration of inter-generational transfer of domestic violence by investigating the childhood trauma exposure and evaluating the problem solving techniques among women living in shelters.

Materials and Methods: A 29-item questionnaire, the Childhood Traumas Questionnaire and the Problem Solving Inventory were performed face-to-face on 205 female residents of 22 women’s shelters in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.

Results: In the outcomes, childhood trauma history rate of the women exposed to domestic violence was 73.6%. The rate of women witnessing inter-parental physical violence in childhood was 56.4%.

Conclusion: Prevention of violence against women can be achieved through comprehensive, multifaceted and integrated approaches requiring joint efforts by the government, policy-makers, social workers, religious scholars, educationalists, public health practitioners and family physicians. Family physicians, the first-line doctors and health care providers, should be skilled in detecting the risk factors of domestic violence, recognizing women at risk for partner violence, and providing appropriate health services and guidance for women experiencing domestic violence.

Author(s): Sevim Ögülmüs, Ahmet Keskin