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Domestic violence against women in rural Indonesia: searching for multilevel prevention
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Domestic violence has been recognized globally as one of the most important Public Health concerns with severe negative health consequences for the exposed women. Through UN bodies several international milestones have successfully pushed attention towards worldwide improvements in the life situations of women. Since the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, significant positive changes towards equality between men and women in Indonesia have been initiated, one being the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in 2004. However, there is still a need to improve the knowledge about what preventive measures that are feasible and work in different settings. This thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of appropriate prevention strategies against domestic violence in rural Indonesia by exploring: i) risk factors for domestic violence; ii) women’s ways of coping with exposure to violence; iii) men’s views on masculinity and violence within marriage; and iv) challenges faced by local service agency in managing services for women survivors of domestic violence.

Methods: Data from a cross sectional population based study was used to analyze risk factors for physical and sexual abuse among a cohort of pregnant women in Purworejo district. Further, a qualitative phenomenological interview study was conducted to reveal the dynamics of coping among women survivors of domestic violence in the same district. A Grounded Theory study based on focus group discussions with men formed the basis for a situational analysis of the linkage between masculinity and the use of violence within marriage. Finally, a qualitative case study was performed to explore the management practices of a local service agency in the district, to understand the challenges faced in their efforts to address domestic violence.

Results: Sexual violence was associated with husbands’ demographic characteristics (age and low educated) and women’s economic independence. Exposure to physical violence among women was strongly associated with husbands’ personal characteristics. The attitudes and norms expressed by women confirmed unequal gender relationships. Experiencing violence led women to using an elastic band coping strategy, moving between actively opposing the violence and surrendering or tolerating the situation. The national gender equality policies were shown to have played a crucial role in transforming gender power relations among men and women (the gender order) in the Indonesian society. Three different positions of masculinity were identified, the traditionalist, the egalitarian, and the progressive, with different beliefs about men’s role within marriage and with various levels of accepting the use of violence. Long term structural preventive efforts and individual interventions targeted to the conflicting couples were preferred over reporting the abuser to the authorities. The major challenges faced by the local service agency were the low priority given by the authorities, mirrored also in low involvement in the daily service by the assigned volunteers. The local agency also stammered in translating the current law and policies into a society that held on to traditional and religious norms regulating the relationships between men and women.

Conclusion: Overall, this thesis illustrates that sociocultural traditions and religious teaching still viscously influence people’s attitudes and beliefs about the use of violence within relationships. Domestic violence has not been accepted as a criminal act but is still to a large extent seen as a private family affair. Culturally sensitive programs aimed to bridging the gap between the current laws and policies and the socio-cultural traditions need to be further developed to protect women from domestic violence and increase gender equity in the Indonesian setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 71 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1617
Keyword [en]
domestic violence, prevention, rural Java, Indonesia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83181ISBN: 978-91-7459-772-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83181DiVA: diva2:665851
Public defence
2013-12-06, Sal 135, By 9A, Allmänmedicin, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-20 Last updated: 2015-05-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Behind the silence of harmony: risk factors for physical and sexual violence among women in rural Indonesia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behind the silence of harmony: risk factors for physical and sexual violence among women in rural Indonesia.
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2011 (English)In: BMC Women's Health, ISSN 1472-6874, E-ISSN 1472-6874, Vol. 11, 52- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world. Few studies have identified the risk factors of Indonesian women for domestic violence. Such research will be useful for the development of prevention programs aiming at reducing domestic violence. Our study examines associations between physical and sexual violence among rural Javanese Indonesian women and sociodemographic factors, husband's psychosocial and behavioral characteristics and attitudes toward violence and gender roles.

METHODS: A cohort of pregnant women within the Demographic Surveillance Site (DSS) in Purworejo district, Central Java, Indonesia, was enrolled in a longitudinal study between 1996 and 1998. In the following year (1999), a cross-sectional domestic violence household survey was conducted with 765 consenting women from that cohort. Female field workers, trained using the WHO Multi-Country study instrument on domestic violence, conducted interviews. Crude and adjusted odds ratios at 95% CI were applied for analysis.

RESULTS: Lifetime exposure to sexual and physical violence was 22% and 11%. Sexual violence was associated with husbands' demographic characteristics (less than 35 years and educated less than 9 years) and women's economic independence. Exposure to physical violence among a small group of women (2-6%) was strongly associated with husbands' personal characteristics; being unfaithful, using alcohol, fighting with other men and having witnessed domestic violence as a child. The attitudes and norms expressed by the women confirm that unequal gender relationships are more common among women living in the highlands and being married to poorly educated men. Slightly more than half of the women (59%) considered it justifiable to refuse coercive sex. This attitude was also more common among financially independent women (71%), who also had a higher risk of exposure to sexual violence.

CONCLUSIONS: Women who did not support the right of women to refuse sex were more likely to experience physical violence, while those who justified hitting for some reasons were more likely to experience sexual violence. Our study suggests that Javanese women live in a high degree of gender-based subordination within marriage relationships, maintained and reinforced through physical and sexual violence. Our findings indicate that women's risk of physical and sexual violence is related to traditional gender norms.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82693 (URN)10.1186/1472-6874-11-52 (DOI)22112243 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. "Elastic band strategy": women's lived experience of coping with domestic violence in rural Indonesia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Elastic band strategy": women's lived experience of coping with domestic violence in rural Indonesia
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2013 (English)In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 6, 1-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Experiencing domestic violence is considered a chronic and stressful life event. A theoretical framework of coping strategies can be used to understand how women deal with domestic violence. Traditional values strongly influenced by religious teachings that interpret men as the leaders of women play an important role in the lives of Javanese women, where women are obliged to obey their husbands. Little is known about how sociocultural and psychosocial contexts influence the ways in which women cope with domestic violence.

Objective: Our study aimed to deepen our understanding of how rural Javanese women cope with domestic violence. Our objective was to explore how the sociocultural context influences coping dynamics of women survivors of domestic violence in rural Purworejo.

Design: A phenomenological approach was used to transform lived experiences into textual expressions of the coping dynamics of women survivors of domestic violence.

Results: Experiencing chronic violence ruined the women's personal lives because of the associated physical, mental, psychosocial, and financial impairments. These chronic stressors led women to access external and internal resources to form coping strategies. Both external and internal factors prompted conflicting impulses to seek support, that is, to escape versus remain in the relationship. This strong tension led to a coping strategy that implied a long-term process of moving between actively opposing the violence and surrendering or tolerating the situation, resembling an elastic band that stretches in and out.

Conclusions: Women survivors in Purworejo face a lack of institutional support and tend to have traditional beliefs that hamper their potential to stop the abuse. Although the women in this study were educated and economically independent, they still had difficulty mobilizing internal and external support to end the abuse, partly due to internalized gender norms.

Keyword
domestic violence, coping, lived experience, Indonesia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66469 (URN)10.3402/gha.v6i0.18894 (DOI)000313061600001 ()23336615 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2013-02-21 Created: 2013-02-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. We no longer live in the old days: a qualitative study on men's views on masculinity and violence within marriage in rural Java, Indonesia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>We no longer live in the old days: a qualitative study on men's views on masculinity and violence within marriage in rural Java, Indonesia
2014 (English)In: BMC Women's Health, ISSN 1472-6874, E-ISSN 1472-6874, Vol. 14, no 58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Previous studies on domestic violence in Indonesia have focused primarily on women's experiences and little research has been undertaken to understand men's views on domestic violence or their involvement in the prevention of domestic violence. This study aimed to explore men's views on masculinity and the use of violence within marriage, in order to gain knowledge on how to involve men in prevention of domestic violence in rural Indonesia. Methods: Focus group discussions with six groups of local male community leaders in Purworejo were conducted. The discussions were transcribed and coded for the construction of a positional map on different masculinities and their relation to the level of acceptance of domestic violence. Results: Social and cultural changes have played a crucial role in transforming the relationship between men and women in Indonesian society. Three different positions of masculinity with certain beliefs on the gender order and acceptance of violence within marriage were identified: the traditionalist, the pragmatist, and the egalitarian. The traditionalist had the highest acceptance of violence as a tool to uphold the superior position of men within marriage, while the pragmatist viewed violence as undesirable but sometimes needed in order to correct the wife's behavior. The egalitarian did not see any reason for violence because they believed that men and women are equal and complementary to each other. Conclusions: Adaptation to social and cultural changes combined with lack of exposures to contextual and progressive religious teachings has led to the formation of three different positions of masculinity among the population in this study. Each position has certain beliefs regarding the gender order and the use of violence within marriage. Religion is an extremely important aspect that must be included in every type of intervention with this population.

Keyword
domestic violence, masculinity, positional map, Indonesia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82694 (URN)10.1186/1472-6874-14-58 (DOI)000335252100001 ()
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Challenges for a local service agency to address domestic violence: a case study from rural indonesia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges for a local service agency to address domestic violence: a case study from rural indonesia
2014 (English)In: Global Journal of Health Science, ISSN 1916-9736, E-ISSN 1916-9744, Vol. 6, no 6, 214-225 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since the launch of a Zero Tolerance Policy in Indonesia, several policies to address domestic violence have been enacted. The obligation of local governments to establish service units for women survivors of domestic violence is one of them. Since domestic violence is a sensitive and complex issue in Indonesia it is important to understand how governmentally regulated services function in practice. This case study aimed to explore challenges faced by a local service agency in managing service provision for women survivors of domestic violence in rural Indonesia. Data from one focus group discussion (12 participants), four individual interviews, six short narratives, two days of participant observation, as well as archive reviews were collected. All data were analyzed using Grounded Theory Situational Analysis. The major challenge faced by the local agency was the low priority that was given them by the local authorities, mirrored also in low involvement by the assigned volunteers in the daily service. The study also identified a gap between the socio-cultural arena and the law & policy arena that needs to be bridged to avoid that the two arenas address domestic violence in a contradictory way. Budget allocation to support the sustainability of the daily routines of service agencies has to be given priority. There is also a need for careful considerations regarding the composition of personnel involved within daily management of service agencies addressing domestic violence. To bridge the gap between the legal systems and traditional cultural values, culturally adjusted alternative justice systems could be developed to increase women's access to legal support.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95818 (URN)10.5539/gjhs.v6n6p214 (DOI)25363105 (PubMedID)
Note

Originally included in thesis in submitted form.

Available from: 2014-11-05 Created: 2014-11-05 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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