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Why women in some countries still say domestic violence is okay, and how World Pulse helps change that

I've just read this Washington Post article, and as I went through, it reinforced why World Pulse as a forum is so important:

Map: Why women in some countries still say domestic violence is okay

It saddened me to see that any woman thought it was alright to be attacked, that there was something she could do that would give anyone else the right to hurt her. But I was happy to read that a positive shift can be seen:

"The findings, which could be potentially quite important for curbing domestic violence, suggest that global cultural attitudes increasingly reject it, and that women who are exposed to these ideas are more likely to adopt them" and "Even controlling for urban living and education, media access is still associated with higher odds of rejecting intimate partner violence in 14 countries."

The paper seems to postulate that what is creating change in these places is access to other ideas, and to empowering tools, such as the internet:

“Women with greater access to global cultural scripts through urban living, education, or access to media were more likely to reject intimate partner violence.”

In fact, the author of the study, Rachael S. Pierotti, argues that it's a cultural shift that is happening, rather than just some effects of urbanization or rising incomes on their own. “Results are consistent with the influence of cultural diffusion, not structural socioeconomic or demographic changes,” Pierotti states. In other words, access to venues such as World Pulse have given strength to women throughout the world and are helping to better those communities, just by being available and showing that there are ways to live in dignity, and that being hit is not "just a part of life."

I'd love to hear how the women on World Pulse in these countries feel about the accuracy (or not) of the study. Do you think it reflects you or your group of friends and family?

The full WaPo article is here: Map: Why women in some countries still say domestic violence is okay
The scholarly article by Rachael S. Pierotti is available for free here: Increasing Rejection of Intimate Partner Violence



jacollura's picture


We still have much work to do, but the results of this study are encouraging. World Pulse is an important change maker!
Thanks for posting,

Precious M's picture

Sign of Love

This is really saddening! Among the Ewondos, a tribe in the Center region of Cameroon, women think that when their husbands hit them it is a sign of love. When discussing among them, it is common to hear statements like this: "My husband loves me so much...yesterday he got me well beaten!" I just do not get it. How can hitting a woman, an adult, your wife be a sign of love???

Again, there is a misconception that Christianity permits men to hit women but this is not true because Christianity urges the man to love his wife as his own body. You can not beat your own body!

World Pulse really helps because women here learn to value themselves rather than see themselves as punching bags. I hope more women find World Pulse.

Thanks for posting! The issue is very salient.

Best regards,

My pen speaks

Mauwa Brigitte's picture


Nous avons lu votre journal sur la femme, nous devons respecté la femme et l'orienté.


Mukut's picture

Domestic violence is NOT okay

Thank you for sharing this post. As rightly pointed out, Wp and other media outlets, education and training and also the awareness of one's rights, makes a woman that much more capable of handling her life well and rejecting an abusive partner.

Domestic violence is a grave issue and in India, there are thousands of households where the wife suffers silently, accepting the fact that it is okay to get hit by their husbands. We need to tell them - it is not. Any kind of violence, not only affects our physical self, but also breaks us down emotionally. We cannot let our women think they are weak. We cannot let them live in fear.

Thanks again for sharing the informative post.

Mukut Ray

This will tell you how dynamic the culture and tradition are. in came across one lecturer who told me that in certain part of their community if the husbands did not beat their wives, the wives begin to complaint that their husbands did not love them.
Meaning that the husbands are beating other women different from them.

your this piece could be a true reflection of those women.



atzili's picture

Beating other women?


Do you mean that the husbands are beating other women, and that the wives are worried their husbands are cheating on them with other women?

ikirimat's picture

in Uganda 60 % of women said

in Uganda 60 % of women said it was okay for the husbands to beat their wives if: she denied him sex, burnt food among others (UDHS 2006). so it is a cultural and sterereo type thing that will be addressed gradually

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

Mauwa Brigitte's picture


Nous vous encourageons à bien vouloir continué de dénoncer les effets courants


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