Violence against women is an increasing global phenomenon. Little is known about violence against foreign-born women, despite a possible increased concentration of risk factors in this group.
This study investigated prevalence of perceived threat of violence and exposure to physical violence and its relation to country of birth among women (18–64 years) residing in southern Sweden, using data obtained from the 2004 Public Health Survey in Scania, Sweden.
Foreign-born women reported significantly higher rates of both perceived threat of violence and exposure to physical violence compared with Swedish-born women. Foreign-born women exposed to violence originated primarily from middle/low-income countries (versus high-income countries). The risk of perceived threat of violence remained significantly increased among foreign-born even after further adjustment for potential confounders, such as marital status and disposable income. After similar adjustment, increased exposure to physical violence was no longer significantly related to foreign-born status, but instead was largely attributable to marital status and low levels of disposable income. Foreign-born women, however, had a greater risk of physical violence in the home than Swedish-born women, and violence in the home was the most frequently reported setting for violence exposure among foreign-born women.
Migration may confer an increased risk of interpersonal violence against women. Although the underlying causes of this increased risk are unknown, a complex set of factors may be involved, including socioeconomic disadvantage.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Women's Health Issues
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Cultural beliefs and service utilization by battered Arab immigrant women.Violence Against Women. 2007; 13: 1002-1028
- The honour/shame complex revisited: violence against women in the migration context.Women’s Studies International Forum. 2003; 25: 425-442
- Sequelae of abuse. Health Effects of Childhood sexual abuse, domestic battering, and rape.Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. 1996; 41: 442-456
- Intimate partner violence in the lives of homeless and poor housed women: Prevalence and patterns in an ethically diverse sample.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 1997; 67: 261-278
- Health consequences of intimate partner violence.Lancet. 2002; 359: 1331-1336
- Intimate partner violence and physical health consequences.Archives of Internal Medicine. 2002; 162: 1157-1163
- Increased risk of psychotic disorder among immigrants in Malmö: a 3-year first-contact study.Psychological Medicine. 2005; 35: 1155-1163
- Schizophrenia and migration: a meta-analysis and review.American Journal of Psychiatry. 2005; 162: 12-24
- Prevalence and demographic correlates of intimate partner violence in Asian Americans.International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 2009; 32: 167-175
- “Immigrant women challenge the role of men”. How changing of power relationship within Iranian families in Sweden intensifies family conflicts after emigration.Journal of Comparative Family studies. 2002; 33: 271-296
- Women’s realities: Defining violence against women by immigrants’ race and class.in: Sokologg N.J. Pratt C. Domestic violence at the margins: Readings on race, class, gender, and culture. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ2005: 56-70
- The importance of social context in understanding and promoting low-income immigrant women’s health.Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2009; 20: 90-97
- Intimate partner violence and women’s physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence: an observational study.Lancet. 2008; 371: 1165-1172
- Increased perinatal mortality among sub-Saharan women in a city-population in Sweden.Acta Obstetrics and Gynaecology Scandinavia. 2000; 79: 737-743
- Qualitative study of pregnancy and childbirth experiences in Somalian women resident in Sweden.British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2000; 107: 1507-1512
- Are some perinatal deaths in immigrant groups linked to sub-optimal perinatal care services?.British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2002; 109: 677-682
- The experience and responses of Swedish health professionals to patients requesting virginity restoration (hymen repair).Reproductive Health Matters. 2010; 18: 38-46
- Delivery outcome among immigrant women in Sweden [in Swedish].The National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm1998
- Rural migrants and patriarchy in Turkish cities.International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 2001; 25: 118-133
- Interpersonal violence in the lives of urban American Indian and Alaska native women: Implications for health, mental health, and help-seeking.American Journal of Public Health. 2006; 96: 1416-1422
- Domestic violence and mental health, correlates and conundrums within and across cultures.Social Science & Medicine. 1997; 45: 1161-1176
- Factors influencing attitudes to violence against women.Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. 2009; 10: 125-142
- The role of the neighborhood environment and risk of intimate partner femicide in a large urban area.American Journal of Public Health. 2008; 98: 1473-1479
- Prevalence of intimate partner violence: Findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence.Lancet. 2006; 368: 1260-1269
- Implications of wife-abuse and battering for self esteem, depression and anxiety as revealed by the second Palestinian national survey on violence against women.Journal of Family Issues. 2000; 21: 435-463
- Suicide in first- and second generation immigrants in Sweden: A comparative study.Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2002; 37: 423-429
- Overcoming patriarchal constraints: The reconstruction of gender relations among Mexican immigrant men and women.Gender and Society. 1992; 6: 393-415
- Interpersonal violence is associated with depression and chronic physical health problems in midlife women.Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2009; 30: 206-213
- The association between length of stay in Canada and intimate partner violence among immigrant women.American Journal of Public Health. 2006; 96: 654-659
- Help-seeking rates for intimate partner violence (IPV) among Canadian immigrant women.Health Care for Women International. 2006; 27: 682-694
- Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention.Lancet. 2002; 359: 1423-1429
- Risk factors for domestic violence: findings from a South African cross-sectional study.Social Science & Medicine. 2002; 55: 1603-1617
- The effects of change in spousal power on intimate partner violence among Chinese immigrants.Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2009; 10: 1-16
- The impact of culture and minority status on women’s experience of domestic violence.Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. 2004; 5: 318-332
- Power, patriarchy, and gender conflict in Vietnamese immigrant community.Gender and Society. 1990; 4: 9-24
- Violence against women: A global public health issue!.Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2002; 56: 242-243
- Violence against women.Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2005; 59: 818-821
- The role of controlling behaviour in intimate partner violence and its health effects: A population based study from rural Vietnam.BMC Public Health. 2009; 9: 1-10
- Do changes in spousal employment status lead to domestic violence? Insights from a prospective study in Bangalore, India.Social Science & Medicine. 2010; 70: 136-143
- The practice of honor crimes: A glimpse of domestic violence in the Arab world.Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2002; 23: 77-87
- Acculturation, partner violence, and psychological distress in refugee women from Somalia.Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2008; 23: 1654-1663
- Immigrant south Asian women at greater risk for injury from intimate partner violence.American Journal of Public Health. 2003; 93: 435-437
- Preterm birth and low birth weight among children of Swedish and immigrant women between 1978 and 1990.Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 1995; 9: 441-454
- Maternal and child health and neighborhood context: The selection and construction of area-level variables.Health & Place. 2006; 12: 547-556
- Health impact of interpersonal violence 2: Medical and mental health outcomes.Behavioral Medicine. 1997; 23: 65-79
- Gender-based violence: Concept, methods, and findings.Annals New York Academy of Sciences. 2006; 1087: 178-205
- Health conditions in Scania. Public health survey Scania 2004 [in Swedish].Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Region of Scania, Malmo University Hospital, Malmo2005
- Social factors affecting women’s mental health in the Arab region.in: Okasha A. Maj M. Images of psychiatry, an Arab Perspective. WPA Publishers, Cairo2001: 207-223
- Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy.Science. 1997; 277: 918-924
- Domestic violence at the intersections of race, class, and gender. Challenges and contributions to understanding violence against marginalized women in diverse communities.Violence Against Women. 2005; 11: 38-64
- Longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labor statistics (LISA) [in Swedish], 1990–2007.Author, Stockholm2009 (2009)
- Family violence: Past, present and future.in: Sussman M.B. Steinmetz S.K. Handbook of marriage and family. Plenum Press, New York1987: 725-765
- Behind closed doors: Violence in the American Family.Anchor Press, New York1980
- Impact of ethnicity, violence and acculturation on displaced migrants; Psychological distress and psychosomatic complaints among refugees in Sweden.Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease. 2000; 188: 357-365
- A preliminary study of intimate partner violence among Nepali women in the United States.Violence Against Women. 2009; 15: 206-223
- Violence against women: global scope and magnitude.Lancet. 2002; 359: 1232-1237
- Black women and intimate partner violence: New directions for research.Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2004; 19: 1487-1493
- World Bank list of economies.(Available:)www.worldbank.orgDate: 2009
Cecilia Fernbrant, MS, is a doctoral student in the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health in the Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö at Lund University, Sweden.
Birgitta Essén, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Women's and Children's Health, International and Maternal Health at Uppsala University, Sweden.
Per-Olof Östergren, PhD, is Professor and Head of the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health in the Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö at Lund University, Sweden.
Elizabeth Cantor-Graae, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health in the Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö at Lund University, Sweden.
Accepted: December 3, 2010
Received in revised form: December 3, 2010
Received: April 13, 2010
Funding source: The County Administrative Board in Skåne.
© 2011 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.