Special Issue "Gender Violence Against Women: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Policies"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Caterina Arcidiacono
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Guest Editor
Department of Humanities, University of Naples, 80133 Naples, Italy
Interests: gender based violence; urban regeneration, migration; critical approach to community psychology; grounded theory methodology; qualitative research
Assoc. Prof. Chiara Rollero
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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Turin, ‎10124 Turin, Italy
Interests: gender issues; stereotypes and prejudice; violence; mass media and social influence
Assoc. Prof. Fortuna Procentese
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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Humanities, University of Naples Federico II, 80133 Naples, Italy
Interests: gender based asymmetric relationships; collaborative and participatory methodologies; responsible togetherness; social inclusion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Violence against women is a widespread phenomenon and represents a huge social and health problem (WHO, 2013) that threatens the development and respect of the human rights of women (United Nations, 1993). This Special Issue aims to collect papers that discuss prevention, protection, and policies for ending violence against women.

This Special Issue will depict deep intimate partner violence (IPV) and it will be focused on women as victims and on their empowerment; on men dealing with their own violence; and on children as victims of witness violence. It will also appreciate papers that describe and analyze the cultural dimensions that reinforce the asymmetry between women and men, and that endure IPV.

This Special Issue aims to deeply explore how IPV is taken in charge by social and health services, and the organizational and structural strategies for ending violence against women; research and intervention with perpetrators; and the protective measures for women and children witnessing intimate partner violence.

Prof. Dr. Caterina Arcidiacono
Assoc. Prof. Fortuna Procentese
Assoc. Prof. Chiara Rollero
Guest Editors

References

United Nations. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women; General Assembly Resolution 48/104, A/RES/48/104; United Nations: New York, NY, USA, 1993.

World Health Organization. Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-partner Sexual Violence; World Health Organization: Genève, Switzerland, 2013.

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Keywords

  • Perpetrators
  • IPV
  • Victims
  • Assisted violence
  • Patriarchal society

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Myths about Intimate Partner Violence and Moral Disengagement: An Analysis of Sociocultural Dimensions Sustaining Violence against Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218139 - 04 Nov 2020
Abstract
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue worldwide and a serious violation of human rights. Recognizing IPV as a form of violence is essential for both victims who need help and offenders who can join treatment programs. Furthermore, only a society [...] Read more.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue worldwide and a serious violation of human rights. Recognizing IPV as a form of violence is essential for both victims who need help and offenders who can join treatment programs. Furthermore, only a society able to identify violence can effectively deal with IPV. The present study is aimed at investigating the role of sociocultural dimensions (i.e., ambivalent sexism toward women, ambivalence toward men, and lay theories about gender differences) in sustaining myths about IPV and moral disengagement. The participants were 359 university students (76.5% female). The results show that hostile sexism toward women plays a key role in sustaining both myths and moral disengagement. Moreover, benevolence toward men and biological lay gender theories (i.e., “naïve” theories assuming that sex differences are a product of biology and genetics) significantly affected the endorsement of IPV myths. The implications are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Femicide Fatal Risk Factors: A Last Decade Comparison between Italian Victims of Femicide by Age Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217953 - 29 Oct 2020
Abstract
Femicide is a wide-spread lethal form of violence against women. Despite its diffusion, to date, very few studies analyzed possible victims’ age differences in regard to fatal risk factors for femicide. To this aim, we carried out archive research on Italian femicide cases [...] Read more.
Femicide is a wide-spread lethal form of violence against women. Despite its diffusion, to date, very few studies analyzed possible victims’ age differences in regard to fatal risk factors for femicide. To this aim, we carried out archive research on Italian femicide cases in the last decade, by comparing prior types of violence suffered and motives for femicide, which are considered crucial fatal risk factors for femicide, across adolescent/young (15–24 years), adults (25–64 years) and older women (65–93 years). From 2010 to 2019 we found 1207 female victims. Characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and their relationship were consistent with those found by international studies and underlined that the majority of femicides were perpetrated by an intimate partner. The results regarding fatal risk factors comparisons across age groups showed the existence of significant differences regarding both types of violence suffered prior to femicide and motives for femicide. The results are discussed in terms of policy implication and intervention. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Kept in Check”: Representations and Feelings of Social and Health Professionals Facing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217910 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Social and health professionals facing gender-based violence in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) express feelings and thoughts closely connected to their place of work and the users of their services. However, research on professionals’ reflexivity and their implications has not been closely investigated. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Social and health professionals facing gender-based violence in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) express feelings and thoughts closely connected to their place of work and the users of their services. However, research on professionals’ reflexivity and their implications has not been closely investigated. Therefore, this article will describe representations of IPV among social and health professionals facing gender-based violence as well as their personal feelings in accomplishing their job. Fifty interviews with health and social professionals were analyzed using grounded theory methodology supported by Atlas.ti 8.4. Five macrocategories will describe this phenomenon, leading to the final explicative core category that summarizes professionals’ attitudes toward it. Being “kept in check” among partners, partners and families, services, and institutional duties is the core category that best expressed their feelings. Therefore, implications for services and training will be further discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Downside: The Perpetrator of Violence in the Representations of Social and Health Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197061 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Gender-based violence is a widespread phenomenon and pandemic that affects women’s lives. Many interventions have been activated for perpetrators, but the dropout rate is still high. In order to draw up guidelines for responsibly and sustainably dealing with the phenomenon, this study is [...] Read more.
Gender-based violence is a widespread phenomenon and pandemic that affects women’s lives. Many interventions have been activated for perpetrators, but the dropout rate is still high. In order to draw up guidelines for responsibly and sustainably dealing with the phenomenon, this study is aimed at investigating the professionals’ perception of the perpetrator as a useful element in designing innovative intervention policies. Open interviews were carried out with welfare and health professionals and the Grounded Theory Methodology was used to analyze the collected data. These results detect attitudes of social health personnel and their feelings of impotence towards gender-based perpetrators because of the emergence of an inevitable repetitiveness of the violent behavior, as well as the “normality of violence” in a patriarchal culture and its “transversality”. This reflective knowledge allows for the opportunity to develop best transformative attitudes toward the phenomenon. According to the results, it is urgent to establish an active and convinced alliance with the healthy part of the man, through specific prevention paths, in order to activate an authentic motivation for change and its sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Dreaming Undreamt Dreams” in Psychological Counseling with Italian Women Who Experienced Intimate Partner Violence: A Phenomenological-Interpretative Analysis of the Psychologists’ Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176286 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In psychological consultations with women who survive Intimate Partner Violence, it is essential to work on elaboration of the trauma as a complex trauma within the context of a relationship. We consider dreams to be a symbolic-representative process, which requires the right psychic, [...] Read more.
In psychological consultations with women who survive Intimate Partner Violence, it is essential to work on elaboration of the trauma as a complex trauma within the context of a relationship. We consider dreams to be a symbolic-representative process, which requires the right psychic, relational and contextual conditions to occur, and that is hindered when trauma is present. The objective of the present study is to investigate the meanings that psychologists working at anti-violence centers attribute to the clinical intervention with women victims of IPV, with a focus on the area of sleep and dreaming in a traumatic experience, and in the clinical work on the trauma. Twelve female psychologists were interviewed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology. From the analysis of the interviews, three main themes emerged: (1) Day and night, neither awake nor asleep, (2) Anti Violence Centers: setting as a container of emotion? and (3) dreaming undreamt dreams. The study highlights the importance of dreams as an indicator not only of psychic and mental functioning but also of the psychological relationship within a specific context. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Combatting Intimate Partner Violence: Representations of Social and Healthcare Personnel Working with Gender-Based Violence Interventions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155543 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization. Although the attention paid to both the perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence has increased, scientific research is still lacking in regard to the representations of operators involved [...] Read more.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization. Although the attention paid to both the perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence has increased, scientific research is still lacking in regard to the representations of operators involved in interventions and management. Therefore, the following study explores how the representations of operators affect how gender violence can be managed and combatted through an ecological approach to this phenomenon, in addition to highlighting the roles of organizational-level services and their cultural and symbolic substrates. In total, 35 health and social professionals were interviewed and textual materials were analyzed by thematic analysis. The evidence suggests that services contrasting gender-based violence utilize different representations and management approaches. The authors hope that these differences can become a resource, rather than a limitation, when combatting gender-based violence through the construction of more integrated networks and a greater dialogue among different services, in order to make interventions designed to combat gender-based violence more effective. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Use of Partial Least Squares–Path Modelling to Understand the Impact of Ambivalent Sexism on Violence-Justification among Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144991 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Gender violence is generally conceived as a phenomenon concerning only adults. Nonetheless, it is also perpetrated within teenagers’ relationships, as many empirical studies have shown. We therefore have focused our attention on a non-probabilistic sample consisting of 400 adolescents living in Naples (Italy), [...] Read more.
Gender violence is generally conceived as a phenomenon concerning only adults. Nonetheless, it is also perpetrated within teenagers’ relationships, as many empirical studies have shown. We therefore have focused our attention on a non-probabilistic sample consisting of 400 adolescents living in Naples (Italy), to study the association between sexism and the justification of violent attitudes. Generally, sexism is recognised as a discriminatory attitude towards people, based on their biological sex. However, it is conventional to talk about sexism as a prejudice against women. The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) for adolescents was used to evaluate the two dimensions of ambivalent sexism, i.e., hostile sexism (HS) and benevolent sexism (BS). Moreover, the questionnaire regarding attitudes towards diversity and violence (CADV) was administered to assess participants’ attitudes towards violence. A Partial Least Square–Second Order Path Model reveals that girls’ ambivalent sexism is affected more by benevolent sexism than hostile sexism. On the contrary, among boys, hostile sexism has a higher impact. Finally, benevolent sexist girls justify domestic violence more than boys do. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Children Witnessing Domestic Violence in the Voice of Health and Social Professionals Dealing with Contrasting Gender Violence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124463 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Witnessing domestic violence (WDV) is recognized by the Istanbul Convention as psychological abuse that has dramatic consequences on the psychophysical health of children. Therefore, professionals who form the support network for WDV victims play a very fundamental role. In order to draw up [...] Read more.
Witnessing domestic violence (WDV) is recognized by the Istanbul Convention as psychological abuse that has dramatic consequences on the psychophysical health of children. Therefore, professionals who form the support network for WDV victims play a very fundamental role. In order to draw up useful guidelines for services dealing with WDV, and to give children more awareness of supportive settings, this study analyzes WDV in the perception of health and welfare professionals to enhance their skills and strategies for contrasting gender violence. Sixteen Neapolitan specialists dealing with WDV children were interviewed. A theoretical intentional sampling was used. Narrative focused interviews were carried out, transcribed verbatim and analyzed through the grounded theory methodology, using the ATLAS.ti 8 software (Scientific Software Development GmbH, Berlin, Germany). We assigned 319 codes and grouped these into 10 categories and 4 macro-categories. The analysis of the texts led to the definition of the core category as “The Crystal Fortress”. It summarizes the image of the WDV children as described by the professionals working in contrasting domestic violence. In this structure the parental roles of protection and care (fortress) are suspended and everything is extremely rigid, fragile and always at risk of a catastrophe. It also symbolizes the difficult role of health professionals in dealing with such children and their families. For WDV children, protective factors guarantee solid development and supportive settings help them to learn proper emotional responsiveness and expressiveness and to develop their skills in talking with adults while avoiding negative consequences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perception of Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Harassment in University Students: Analysis of the Information Sources and Risk within a Relationship
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113754 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
In a truly democratic society, there should be no place for any kind of discrimination or violence. Among the basic tools for eradicating discrimination and violence against women, education has a crucial role to play. Education about gender should be considered at all [...] Read more.
In a truly democratic society, there should be no place for any kind of discrimination or violence. Among the basic tools for eradicating discrimination and violence against women, education has a crucial role to play. Education about gender should be considered at all levels, in all year groups and across the curriculum, so as to improve education about this subject. Although these matters are increasingly addressed, at university level, including at postgraduate level, they are often forgotten. The purpose of this study is to break down the level of knowledge of gender-based violence and/or sexual stalking, the sources of information most widely used for developing this knowledge, and beliefs about situations of risk in relationships among a sample of 268 Science and Social Science students at the University of Córdoba (Spain). The analysis was descriptive, comparative and correlative. Means and standard deviations were analyzed, and correlations were used to establish possible relations among the variables. Cluster analysis was used to distribute the sample with respect to knowledge of violence and Student’s t-test was used to identify differences between groups. The chi-squared test was used to find the association between variables such as situations of violence and places of residence. The results show that, although the experience of gender-based violence is among the least common sources of violence, there is evidence that these situations do exist, and the risk of violent acts and/or stalking is greater when couples break up. The perception of risk is higher when students have a greater knowledge of gender-based violence or sexual harassment and this perception is higher in women. As expected, greater knowledge is also associated with experience of this type of situation; however, place of residence was not linked to greater or lesser knowledge. Training in gender is considered essential and necessary in the university environment. Full article
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