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J Epidemiol Community Health 64:728-735 doi:10.1136/jech.2009.090415
  • Research report

Factors associated with intimate partner violence against women in Serbia: a cross-sectional study

Editor's Choice
  1. Stanislava Otasevic3
  1. 1Institute of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  2. 2Violence against Women research, Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Women Health Promotion Center, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bosiljka Djikanovic, Institute of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia, Dr Subotica 8, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; bosiljka_djikanovic{at}yahoo.com
  1. Contributors All authors were involved in the implementation of the survey (SO was principal investigator, managed the project overall, supported field staff, and led on report writing for the 2005 report with initial results; HJ was technical advisor to the study, trained field staff and data processing staff, and contributed to data analysis for the 2005 report with initial results; BD was interviewer); BD and HJ conceived the study presented in this article, conducted the analysis and interpretation of data and drafted the article; SO approved version to be published.

  • Accepted 30 July 2009
  • Published Online First 24 August 2009

Abstract

Background This study aimed to identify factors associated with intimate partner violence against women living in Belgrade, Serbia.

Method A cross-sectional, population based household survey was conducted in Belgrade as part of the WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence, using a standard questionnaire. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1456 women aged 15–49 years. Data used in this study were from a subset of 886 women who ever cohabited with their male intimate partners. The association between various factors at individual and relationship levels and reported physical or sexual partner violence, or both, was assessed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results Multivariate logistic regression modelling revealed that partner violence was significantly associated with a number of factors relating to the male partner: daily alcohol consumption (AOR 4.25, 95% CI 1.78 to 10.11), having affairs (AOR 3.97, 95% CI 1.62 to 9.57), fighting with other men (AOR 3.62, 95% CI 1.91 to 6.88), his mother having experienced spousal abuse (AOR 2.71, 95% CI 1.40 to 5.23) and he himself being beaten as a child (AOR 3.14, 95% CI 1.48 to 6.63). Among the factors related to the women, only forced or unwanted first sexual intercourse was independently associated with exposure to partner violence (AOR 2.50, 95% CI 1.05 to 5.96).

Conclusion The majority of factors associated with intimate partner violence related to the male partner; in particular his childhood experiences of violence in his own family. Long-term violence prevention programmes should target boys growing up in families with domestic violence.

Footnotes

  • Henrica A F M Jansen Epidemiologist, WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, at the time this work was initiated

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Permission for the WHO Multi-country Study was obtained from the WHO Secretariat Committee for Research in Human Subjects. The study in Serbia strictly adhered to WHO's ethical and safety recommendations for research on Domestic Violence against Women.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed