The prevalence and experiences of intimate partner violence among Saudi women in the UK

  • Samia Al-Habib

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a substantial public health problem, a serious human rights violation, and a major factor contributing to women's morbidity and mortality worldwide. Little is known about the prevalence and experiences ofIPV among Saudi women. Aim and objectives: the aim is to investigate IPV among Saudi women living in the UK. This aim was fulfilled through by four objectives: 1) The translation of the Composite Abuse Scale (CAS) into Arabic and adaptation of the SF-36 questionnaire, 2) The measurement of different types and severity of IPV, 3) The measurement of any associations between -IPV, women health status, and their socio-demographic profiles, 4) The exploration of worncass subjective experiences of IPV. Methods: Mixed methods were used. The first study involved initial forward translation of the CAS, experts' panel discussion, focus groups discussions, and back translation. The second study was a self-reported survey posted to a stratified random sample of Saudi women in the UK (n=718). Response rate was 45%. The third study included in-depth semi-structured interviews with 20 women to explore their IPV experiences. Results: Prevalence of severe combined abuse was 19%, emotional abuse and/or harassment was 11 %, physical abuse, emotional abuse and/or harassment was 3%, and physical abuse alone was 2%. Logistic regression analysis showed significant associations between severe combined IPV with several items of the SF-36 health survey and a few socio-demographic profiles. Interviews explored diverse experiences, and beliefs of IPV in the contexts of their religion, socio-cultural, economic-political, and health profiles. Conclusion and implications: IPV is prevailing among Saudi women in the UK with impacts on their well-being. This calls for further cohort longitudinal studies to investigate IPV among Saudi with a multi-dimensional approach considering the dynamics and intersections of socio-cultural, religious, economic-political, and health status factors, to measure its impacts and to plan needed resources.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish

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