Intimate Partner Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Prevalence and Risk Factors

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia, Cari Jo Clark

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27 Scopus citations


This paper presents results from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of married women (N = 3,500) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Interviews assessed the 12-month prevalence of participants' exposure to psychological, physical, and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) and risk factors including: demographic characteristics, several factors of marital relations, stressful life events, political violence, status inconsistency, family size, locality, region, help resources in the community, and locality-level acceptance of wife abuse. The prevalence estimates of IPV were: psychological aggression, 50 % minor and 12 % severe; physical assault, 17 % minor and 6 % severe; and sexual coercion, 4 % minor and 6 % severe. Results revealed that stressful life events, husbands' controlling behavior, and marital conflicts were related to all forms of IPV (all p-values < 0.05). Greater locality-level acceptance of wife abuse was statistically associated with greater odds of each type of violence except sexual violence. The limitations and implications of the study for future research are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Palestinian National Authority, Core Funding Group, and the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota.


  • Intimate partner violence
  • Middle East societies
  • Palestinian society
  • Prevalence of IPV
  • Risk factors


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