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Prevalence of wife beating in Jordanian refugee camps: reports by men and women
  1. Marwan Khawaja,
  2. Rana Barazi
  1. Centre for Research on Population and Health, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beirut, Lebanon
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Khawaja
 Centre for Research on Population and Health, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beirut, Lebanon;

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Wife beating, the most widespread form of domestic violence, has adverse consequences on the health and wellbeing of women and is a major cause of disability and death in many countries.1 In the past few years, it has been widely reported in developing countries’ contexts,2 where patriarchal family norms are common.3 In the Middle East, patriarchal gender relations reinforced by traditional cultural, legal, and perhaps religious legacies may have directly or indirectly influenced the persistence of violence against women. In fact, intimate partner violence is not considered a criminal act in many Arab countries. Available studies provide only limited insight into the prevalence of domestic violence in a patriarchal context. Furthermore, most previous studies of wife beating from developing countries focused on female respondents, thus neglecting men, the perpetrators of violence.

Using data from independent samples of married men and women, this study investigated the prevalence of wife beating in the Palestinian refugee camps of Jordan. Specifically, the study aimed to examine the similarity between men’s self reports of violence and women’s reports of being subjected to domestic violence. The focus was on lifetime physical domestic violence against women, but estimates of current (past year) beating as well as injuries resulting from beating were also described.


This exploratory study used data from the recently completed living conditions survey of Jordan’s refugee camps. This was a cross sectional survey of 2590 households selected randomly from 12 refugee camps using a sampling frame provided by …

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  • Funding: data collection for this study was supported in part by a grant from the government of Norway.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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