ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Violence against Women as an Interdisciplinary Challenge in Public Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Women's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 20456

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Scientific Section on Psychological Aspects of Torture and Persecution, World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 1226 Thônex, Switzerland
Interests: transcultural psychiatry; public mental health; refugees; torture; trauma; disasters; pandemics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Violence against women has been identified as a major problem not only in national and international law, but also in psychiatry, medicine and public health.

The wide range of forms of such violence and the specific problems encountered by victims and survivors encompass domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, Chaupadhi (menstrual segregation), trafficking, sexual torture, sati, prison conditions that violate human rights and standards such as the Bangkok declaration. The sequelae include severe emotional suffering, different forms of posttraumatic stress, infections and physical injuries, increased suicide risks, psychiatric complications such as substance dependency, the impairment of wellbeing, and the impairment of sexual, occupational and private functioning.

Prevention, treatment and support must also be seen as major public health issues that can only be addressed by an interdisciplinary approach covering diverse factors such as culture, impunity, redress, and access to medical and psychological treatment.

Scope: This special volume is open to research data and the discussion of all the aspects described, with a special focus on interdisciplinary approaches.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Wenzel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gender
  • public health
  • violence
  • torture
  • culture
  • discrimination
  • posttraumatic stress
  • suicide

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

17 pages, 574 KiB  
Article
Are Sexual Assaults Related to Functional Somatic Disorders? A Cross-Sectional Study
by Sofie Abildgaard Jacobsen, Lisbeth Frostholm, Cæcilie Böck Buhmann, Marie Weinreich Petersen, Eva Ørnbøl, Thomas Meinertz Dantoft, Anne Ahrendt Bjerregaard, Lene Falgaard Eplov and Tina Birgitte Wisbech Carstensen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206947 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1567
Abstract
An increasing number of sexual assaults (SAs) are being reported. This study investigated associations between SA and FSD, conceptualized as bodily distress syndrome (BDS), and five functional somatic syndromes (FSSs): chronic widespread pain (CWP), irritable bowel (IB), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple chemical sensitivity [...] Read more.
An increasing number of sexual assaults (SAs) are being reported. This study investigated associations between SA and FSD, conceptualized as bodily distress syndrome (BDS), and five functional somatic syndromes (FSSs): chronic widespread pain (CWP), irritable bowel (IB), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). Participants (n = 7493) from the population-based cohort Danish Study of Functional Disorders (DanFunD) completed questionnaires on FSD, emotional distress, SA, and sociodemographics. Risk ratios (RRs) for each FSD and emotional distress were calculated in nine models with SA as the primary exposure using generalized linear models with binomial family and log link and were adjusted for other potential risk factors. The results showed that SA was associated with single-organ FSD (RR = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.22–1.87), multi-organ FSD (RR = 3.51; 95% CI = 1.89–6.49), CWP (RR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.83–1.98), IB (RR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.30–3.07), CF (RR = 1.81; 95% CI = 1.42–2.32), WAD (RR = 2.62; 95% CI = 1.37–5.03), MCS (RR = 3.04; 95% CI = 1.79–5.17), emotional distress (RR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.21–2.54), and health anxiety (RR = 1.65; 95% CI = 1.10–2.46). Overall, SA victims experienced significantly more somatic symptoms than individuals not exposed to SA. Adjusting for physical and emotional abuse did not change the observed associations. Our results suggest a large impact of SA on the overall somatic and mental health of SA victims. Due to the cross-sectional study design, further studies are required. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1889 KiB  
Article
Cross-National Associations between Age at Marriage and Intimate Partner Violence among Young Women: An Analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys from 48 Countries
by Carolina V. N. Coll, Andrea Wendt, Thiago M. Santos, Amiya Bhatia and Aluisio J. D. Barros
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043218 - 12 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
We estimated the associations between age at first marriage and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) among women young women aged 20–24 years using data from demographic and health surveys (DHS) conducted at 48 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We fitted a multilevel logistic [...] Read more.
We estimated the associations between age at first marriage and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) among women young women aged 20–24 years using data from demographic and health surveys (DHS) conducted at 48 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We fitted a multilevel logistic regression model controlling for sociodemographic covariates. Our pooled analyses revealed that age at marriage is strongly associated with past year IPV in a non-linear way, with steep reductions in violence when young women marry after age 15 and a continued decline in IPV for every year marriage is delayed up to age 24. The risk of physical IPV was 3.3 times higher among women married at age 15 (24.4%, 95% CI 19.7; 29.2%) compared to young women married at age 24 (7.5%, 95% CI 5.8; 9.2%). For sexual IPV, girls married at 15 had 2.2 times higher risk compared to those married at 24 (7.5%, 95% CI 5.6; 9.5% vs. 3.4%, 95% CI 2.7; 4.2%, respectively). For psychological IPV, the relative risk was 3.4 for the same comparison (married at 15: 20.1%, 95% CI 14.6; married at 24: 25.5% vs. 6.0%, 95% CI 3.4; 8.6%). Country specific analyses showed that, age at marriage was negatively associated with physical and psychological IPV in nearly half of the countries (n/48) and with sexual IPV in ten countries. Our findings underscore the importance of integrating violence prevention and response interventions into efforts to prevent child marriage, as well as the health, educations and social services young women access. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 408 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Femicide–Suicide in Italy: An Ecological Approach
by Anna Sorrentino, Vincenza Cinquegrana and Chiara Guida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610431 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2058
Abstract
The present study investigated the intimate partner femicide (IPF) and intimate partner femicide–suicide (IPFS) perpetrators’ individual, relational, and contextual characteristics by analyzing, within the ecological approach, femicide cases that occurred in Italy from 2010 to 2019. On the topic, to date, scant studies [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the intimate partner femicide (IPF) and intimate partner femicide–suicide (IPFS) perpetrators’ individual, relational, and contextual characteristics by analyzing, within the ecological approach, femicide cases that occurred in Italy from 2010 to 2019. On the topic, to date, scant studies examined possible differences between IPF and IPFS risk factors, and no studies have analyzed these factors by adopting an ecological systems model perspective. To this aim, archival research was carried out. Of a total of 1.207 femicides, 409 were IPF, and 227 were IPFS. Perpetrators’ age, level of employment, law enforcement membership, mental and/or physical illnesses, use of psychoactive substances, previous crimes, previous violent relationships, presence of children, previous violence in the couple, inability to accept the end of the relationship, quarrels and conflict, jealousy and the psychophysical illnesses of both authors and victims, as well as the use of firearms and victim’s request for help were analyzed. The results underlined the existence of different risk factors contributing to the IPF perpetrators’ decision to commit suicide such as perpetrators’ age, law enforcement membership, and firearm availability. These findings stress the need for specific risk assessment and management strategies for IPFS perpetrators. Full article
10 pages, 334 KiB  
Article
Spousal Violence and Contraceptive Use among Married Afghan Women in a Nationally Representative Sample
by Sahra Ibrahimi and Julia R. Steinberg
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 9783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19169783 - 09 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Objective: Afghanistan is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of spousal violence (56%) and a low prevalence of contraceptive use (23%), yet there is no study assessing how spousal violence is related to contraceptive use, and what methods are most used [...] Read more.
Objective: Afghanistan is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of spousal violence (56%) and a low prevalence of contraceptive use (23%), yet there is no study assessing how spousal violence is related to contraceptive use, and what methods are most used by women. Therefore, this study examined the association between the number of types of spousal violence and contraceptive use. Method: Using data from 18,985 Afghan married women, aged 15 to 49, who responded to the 2015 Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey, the current contraceptive method was grouped into five categories: male-involved methods, pills, injectables, long-acting reversible contraception, female sterilization, and Lactation Amenorrhea Method. The number of types of spousal violence in the past 12 months was categorized as none, one type, or two or more types, based on women’s experiences with verbal, physical, and sexual violence. For analysis, binary and multinomial logistic regression were used. Results: After adjusting for the covariates, the experience of any spousal violence was associated with contraception use (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.64–2.27, p = 0.0001). Among those using contraception, experiencing two or three types of spousal violence was associated with using pills (adjusted risk ratio (aRRR) = 2.12, 95% CI: 1.63–2.77, p = 0.0001), injections (aRRR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.26–2.41, p = 0.001), and LAM (aRRR = 3.27, 95% CI: 2.05–5.20, p = 0.0001), compared to male-involved methods. Conclusions: The findings of this study may inform policymakers and program implementers in designing interventions to address the pervasive problem of violence against women, and make pills and injectables more accessible to Afghan women, since these methods are under women’s control and more often used in Afghanistan. Full article
13 pages, 1193 KiB  
Article
Female Homicide in Italy in 2021: Different Criminological and Psychopathological Perspectives on the Phenomenon
by Claudio Terranova, Laura Marino and Francesco Pozzebon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7537; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127537 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1623
Abstract
The intentional homicide of female victims, which is most commonly perpetrated by intimate partners or family members, has been recognized in recent years as a matter of grave public concern that needs to be addressed from the cultural and judicial perspectives. To allow [...] Read more.
The intentional homicide of female victims, which is most commonly perpetrated by intimate partners or family members, has been recognized in recent years as a matter of grave public concern that needs to be addressed from the cultural and judicial perspectives. To allow an in-depth criminological and psychopathological evaluation of female homicide in Italy in 2021 to be conducted, the authors performed a newspaper report analysis of the phenomenon. All female homicides that occurred in Italy in 2021 (n = 119) were included in the study. The analysis confirmed the low rate of female homicides in Italy when compared with other countries and also showed the phenomenon to be more complex than usually described. The highest rate of homicides was observed in elderly females when compared with other age groups, implying different criminological considerations and suggesting that gender-based violence may only explain some of the identified cases. The high incidence of suicide or attempted suicide among offenders, together with the high incidence of reported mental disorders in that population, suggests that a psychopathological perspective on the phenomenon of female homicide could help with the development and implementation of preventive strategies that focus on managing mental health at a territorial level and intervening in difficult domestic situations. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 597 KiB  
Article
Fourteen Main Obstacles on the Journey to Post-Traumatic Growth as Experienced by Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: “It Was All So Confusing
by Hulda S. Bryngeirsdottir and Sigridur Halldorsdottir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095377 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2447
Abstract
In this study, we identified 14 obstacles experienced by female survivors of intimate partner violence who had, nonetheless, reached post-traumatic growth (PTG), which is a positive psychological change by a person following serious difficulties or traumatic events. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is such [...] Read more.
In this study, we identified 14 obstacles experienced by female survivors of intimate partner violence who had, nonetheless, reached post-traumatic growth (PTG), which is a positive psychological change by a person following serious difficulties or traumatic events. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is such a trauma. The purpose of this study was to analyze the obstacles to PTG as experienced by women who have succeeded in reaching PTG following traumatic IPV. Participants were twenty-two women aged 23–56 who self-reported their PTG according to the working definition used. The participants reported feelings of diminished self-worth that had negatively influenced their lives and how these negative feelings delayed their PTG. The overriding theme of the study was “It was all so confusing”, which expressed the essence of the participants’ feelings when describing the obstacles they encountered on their journey to PTG. Most of those obstacles were intrapersonal, i.e., negative personal feelings and negative perspectives towards themselves. Other obstacles reported by participants were physical and psychological health problems, challenging personal circumstances, and the perpetrator, as well as laws, regulations, and institutional social systems. This study reveals the broad range of obstacles encountered by women on their journey to PTG following IPV, emphasizing the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach when holistically considering their situation and supporting them on their journey towards PTG. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

22 pages, 482 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Analysis of Factors Associated with Intimate Partner Femicide: A Systematic Review
by Esperanza Garcia-Vergara, Nerea Almeda, Blanca Martín Ríos, David Becerra-Alonso and Francisco Fernández-Navarro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127336 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3976
Abstract
There has been a growing concern about violence against women by intimate partners due to its incidence and severity. This type of violence is a severe problem that has taken the lives of thousands of women worldwide and is expected to continue in [...] Read more.
There has been a growing concern about violence against women by intimate partners due to its incidence and severity. This type of violence is a severe problem that has taken the lives of thousands of women worldwide and is expected to continue in the future. A limited amount of research exclusively considers factors related only to these women’s deaths. Most focus on deaths of both men and women in an intimate partnership and do not provide precise results on the phenomenon under study. The necessity for an actual synthesis of factors linked solely to women’s deaths in heterosexual relationships is key to a comprehensive knowledge of that case. This could assist in identifying high-risk cases by professionals involving an interdisciplinary approach. The study’s objective is to systematically review the factors associated with these deaths. Twenty-four studies found inclusion criteria extracted from seven databases (Dialnet, Web of Science, Pubmed, Criminal Justice, Psychology and Behavioral Science Collection, Academic Search Ultimate, and APA Psyarticles). The review was carried out under the PRISMA guidelines’ standards. The studies’ quality assessment complies with the MMAT guidelines. Findings revealed that there are specific factors of the aggressor, victim, partner’s relationship, and environment associated with women’s deaths. The results have implications for predicting and preventing women’s deaths, providing scientific knowledge applied to develop public action programs, guidelines, and reforms. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

13 pages, 344 KiB  
Case Report
When COVID-19 Is Not All: Femicide Conducted by a Murderer with a Narcissistic Personality “Masked” by a Brief Psychotic Disorder, with a Mini-Review
by Donato Morena, Nicola Di Fazio, Raffaele La Russa, Giuseppe Delogu, Paola Frati, Vittorio Fineschi and Stefano Ferracuti
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214826 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1595
Abstract
Several cases of COVID-19-related mental disorders have emerged during the pandemic. In a case of femicide that occurred in Italy during the first phase of the pandemic, coinciding with a national lockdown, a discrepancy arose among forensic psychiatry experts, particularly toward the diagnosis [...] Read more.
Several cases of COVID-19-related mental disorders have emerged during the pandemic. In a case of femicide that occurred in Italy during the first phase of the pandemic, coinciding with a national lockdown, a discrepancy arose among forensic psychiatry experts, particularly toward the diagnosis of Brief Psychotic Disorder (BPD) related to COVID-19. We aimed to discuss the evaluation of the case through an integration of information and a literature review on comparable reported cases. An analysis of the diagnosis of brief acute psychosis was then performed, as well as a mini-review on cases of COVID-19-related psychosis. Results showed that psychotic symptomatology was characterized by polythematic delusions that always involved a SARS-CoV-2 infection. To a lesser extent, the delusions were accompanied by hallucinations, bizarre cognitive and associative alterations, insomnia, hyporexia, dysphoria, and suicidal behavior. No particularly violent acts with related injury or death of the victim were described. Finally, we could hypothesize that our case was better represented by a diagnosis of personality with predominantly narcissistic and partly psychopathic traits. The present case highlighted the importance, in the context of forensic psychiatry, of integrating assessments with the crime perpetrators, namely through accurate clinical interviews, neuropsychological tests, diachronic observations, and comparison with similar cases present in the literature. Such an integrated approach allows precise evaluation and reduces the odds of errors in a field, such as forensic psychiatry, where a diagnostic decision can be decisive in the judgment of criminal responsibility. Moreover, discerning forensics from health cases represents an important issue in risk management. Full article
8 pages, 284 KiB  
Concept Paper
FGM and Restorative Justice—A Challenge for Developing Countries and for Refugee Women
by Thomas Wenzel, Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, Reem Alksiri, Daniela Dörfler, Eva Jana Messerschmidt and Anthony Fu Chen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178913 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been identified as one of the most serious human rights violations women are exposed to in many countries, in spite of national and international efforts. The actual implementation of preventive strategies and support of victims faces a number [...] Read more.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been identified as one of the most serious human rights violations women are exposed to in many countries, in spite of national and international efforts. The actual implementation of preventive strategies and support of victims faces a number of challenges that can only be addressed by an interdisciplinary approach integrating public health and legal considerations. FGM in the context of women as refugees who left their country to escape FGM has rarely been covered in this context. This article summarizes the most important international standards and initiatives against FGM, highlights the medical, legal, and psychological factors identified so far, and explores the interdisciplinary considerations in changing a country and society to permit safe return of those escaping FGM to third countries and support public health in the country. Full article
Back to TopTop