Examining intersections between violence against women and violence against children: perspectives of adolescents and adults in displaced Colombian communities

Mootz, Jennifer J.; Stark, Lindsay; Meyer, Elizabeth; Asghar, Khudejha; Roa, Arturo H.; Potts, Alina; Poulton, Catherine; Marsh, Mendy; Ritterbusch, Amy; Bennouna, Cyril

Research examining the interrelated drivers of household violence against women and violence against children is nascent, particularly in humanitarian settings. Gaps remain in understanding how relocation, displacement and ongoing insecurity affect families and may exacerbate household violence.

Employing purposive sampling, we used photo elicitation methods to facilitate semi-structured, in-depth interviews with female and male adolescents and adults aged 13–75 (n = 73) in two districts in Colombia from May to August of 2017. Participants were displaced and/or residing in neighborhoods characterized by high levels of insecurity from armed groups.

Using inductive thematic analysis and situating the analysis within a feminist socioecological framework, we found several shared drivers of household violence. Intersections among drivers at all socioecological levels occurred among societal gender norms, substance use, attempts to regulate women’s and children’s behavior with violence, and daily stressors associated with numerous community problems. A central theme of relocation was of family compositions that were in continual flux and of family members confronted by economic insecurity and increased access to substances.

Findings suggest interventions that systemically consider families’ struggles with relocation and violence with multifaceted attention to socioecological intersections.


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Conflict and Health

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Published Here
August 10, 2022


Armed conflict, Domestic violence, Child abuse, Internal displacement, Social norms, Violence against children, Colombia