Possibilities and Hindrances for Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence: Perceptions Among Professionals and Decision Makers in a Swedish Medium-Sized Town
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem, but few evidence-based prevention programs have yet been implemented.
This study explored the perceptions and beliefs of local-level decision makers, social and health-care professionals, and representatives from the police force regarding the possibilities and hindrances for prevention of IPV.
An explorative qualitative approach was used, and participants were strategically selected for focus group discussions. The participants, 19 men and 23 women, were professionals or decision makers within health-care services, social welfare, municipal administration, the police force, local industry, and local politicians in a Swedish town of 54,000 inhabitants. The focus group discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed. A manifest content analysis was performed on the text.
Preschools, schools, sports associations, workplaces, and the mass media were suggested as possible arenas for prevention measures. The proposed activities included norm building and improved social support structures. Hindrances were conceptualized as societal beliefs and attitudes, shame, silence, gender inequality, the counteracting influence of the media, and lack of resources. The participants demonstrated closeness and distance to IPV, expressed as acceptance or referral of responsibility to others regarding where and by whom prevention measures should be executed.
This study gave new insights in the prevailing perceptions of professionals and decision makers of a medium-sized Swedish town, which can be a useful knowledge in future preventive work and contribute to bridge the gap between research and practice.
- Coker AL. Primary prevention of intimate partner violence for women's health: a response to Plichta. J Interpers Violence. 2004;19(11):1324–34. CrossRef
- Saltzman LE, Green YT, Marks JS, Thacker SB. Violence against women as a public health issue: comments from the CDC. Am J Prev Med. 2000;19(4):325–9. CrossRef
- Krug EG, Mercy JA, Dahlberg LL, Zwi AB. World report on violence and health. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2002.
- Graffunder CM, Noonan RK, Cox P, Wheaton J. Through a public health lens. Preventing violence against women: an update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004;13(1):5–16. CrossRef
- Coker AL. Preventing intimate partner violence: how we will rise to this challenge. Am J Prev Med. 2006;30(6):528–9. CrossRef
- Casteel C, Sandowski L. Intimate partner violence towards women. Clin Evid. 2010;pii:1013 [serial on the Internet].
- Gottlieb AS. Intimate partner violence: a clinical review of screening and intervention. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2008;4(5):529–39. CrossRef
- Wathen CN, MacMillan HL. Interventions for violence against women: scientific review. JAMA. 2003;289(5):589–600. CrossRef
- Ronnberg AK, Hammarstrom A. Barriers within the health care system to dealing with sexualized violence: a literature review. Scand J Public Health. 2000;28(3):222–9.
- Holmberg C, Bender C. Det är något speciellt med den här frågan - om det lokalpolitiska samtalet om mäns våld mot kvinnor. (There is something special about this question - about the local political discourse on men's violence against women). Umeå Brottsoffermyndigheten. (The Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority) 2003.
- Hyman I, Guruge S, Stewart DE, Ahmad F. Primary prevention of violence against women. Womens Health Issues. 2000;10(6):288–93. CrossRef
- Kitzinger J. Qualitative research. Introducing focus groups. Bmj. 1995;311(7000):299–302. CrossRef
- Wibeck V, Abrandt Dahlgren M, Oberg G. Learning in focus-groups: an analytic dimension for enhancing focus group research. Qual Res. 2007;7(2):249–67. CrossRef
- Kitzinger J. The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interactions between research participants. Sociol Health Illn. 1994;16:103–21. CrossRef
- Graneheim U, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today. 2004;24(2):105–12. CrossRef
- Giorgi A. Concerning the application of phenomenology to caring research. Scand J Caring Sci. 2000;14(1):11–5. CrossRef
- Klevens J, Saltzman LE. The Controversy on screening for intimate partner violence: a question of semantics? J Womens Health. 2009;18(2):143–5. CrossRef
- Klevens J, Baker CK, Shelley GA, Ingram EM. Exploring the links between components of coordinated community responses and their impact on contact with intimate partner violence services. Violence Against Women. 2008;14(3):346–58. CrossRef
- Babor T. Alcohol: No ordinary commodity—research and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2003.
- Miller D, Prentice D. The construction of social norms and standards. In: Higgins E, Kruglanski A, editors. Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles. New York: Guilford; 1996.
- Fiske S. Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. New York: Wiley; 2004.
- Coleman J. Foundation of social theory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; 1990.
- Kerr N. Norms in social dilemmas. In: Schroeder D, editor. Social dilemmas: Social psychological perspectives. New York: Pergamon; 1995.
- Usdin S, Scheepers E, Goldstein S, Japhet G. Achieving social change on gender-based violence: a report on the impact evaluation of Soul City's fourth series. Soc Sci Med. 2005;61(11):2434–45. CrossRef
- Manganello JA, Webster D, Campbell JC. Intimate partner violence and health provider training and screening in the news. Women Health. 2006;43(3):21–40. CrossRef
- Hamilton LV. Who is responsible? Toward a social psychology of responsibility attribution. Soc Psychol. 1978;41:316–28. CrossRef
- Kelman HC, Hamilton VL. Crimes of obedience: Toward a social psychology of authority and responsibility. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1989.
- Wolf M, Ly U, Hobart M, Kernic M. Barriers to seeking police help for intimate partner violence. J Fam Viol. 2003;18(3):121–9. CrossRef
- Possibilities and Hindrances for Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence: Perceptions Among Professionals and Decision Makers in a Swedish Medium-Sized Town
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 3 , pp 337-343
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Intimate partner violence
- Domestic violence
- Shared responsibility
- Qualitative method
- Author Affiliations
- 2. Department of Public Health and Community Medicine/Social Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Box 453, 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 1. Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden