Domestic violence (DV) is a global problem with drastic effects
on social life, representing a public health problem. The aim of this study is
to evaluate the attitudes of married women and men towards DV in Turkey.
Method: Attitude questions were directed to a group of male and female married
individuals as a part of the Turkish Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS)
in 1998. Participants were asked to express their opinions and attitudes about
certain pre-determined scenarios, in an effort to ascertain whether violence
against married women is justified or not by these individuals.
Results: The TDHS 1998 included 5893 married women and 1971 married
men. DV was approved by 50.7% and 56.9% of the married women and
men, respectively. Approval rates of DV for any reason were highest among
the youngest group of married individuals (male and female) and among
the oldest married men. In addition, there was higher rate of approval
for DV among married women from central and eastern Turkey, and from
married men from eastern and southern Turkey. Higher level of education
was associated with less approval for married men and women. Certain expressed
views on social norms were associated with a significantly higher
rate of approval for DV among married men and women.
Conclusion: This study underscores the need for adequately identifying and
assessing DV in Turkey. The victim blaming attitudes were common. Determining
an individual's disposition to commit DV by health care professionals
would allow proactive preventive measures to be taken and to assess the
risk level. This also will help sensitize the concerned agencies to implement
and impose the necessary laws related to DV.