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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

CARRASCO-PORTINO, Mercedes; VIVES-CASES, Carmen; GIL-GONZALEZ, Diana  and  ALVAREZ-DARDET, Carlos. What do we know about men who abuse their female partner? A systematic review. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.1, pp. 55-63. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007000600008.

OBJECTIVES: To analyze articles published in scientific journals from 2000 to 2005 that specifically focus on men who abuse their female partner, and to identify characteristics that the quantitative empirical studies have in common. METHODS: A systematic review of articles published from January 2000 to June 2005 on the topic of men who abuse their female partner was conducted by searching the following databases: EconLit, Embase, Eric, Francis, Índice Médico Español, ISI Web of Knowledge (Web of Science and Current Contents), Medline, Psicodoc, PsycInfo, and Sociological Abstracts. RESULTS: Of the 944 studies identified, victim-specific articles were eliminated, and 61 (6.5%) were analyzed. Of these, violence-related journals had published 34 (55.7%); medical sciences journals had published only 4 (6.6%). North American institutions had published 47 of the 61 articles (77.0%), most of which were from the United States of America (70.5%), and only 1 article (1.6%) came from Latin America (Puerto Rico). Of the 29 articles that employed quantitative analysis, 19 (65.5%) examined the etiology of and risk factors related to domestic violence, and 10 (34.5%) focused on interventions geared toward the aggressor. CONCLUSIONS: Few scientific studies were found that tackled the causes of violence against the female partner, and those that did used epidemiological methods that fell short of quantifying the causes of partner violence. Studies that approach the issue from a curative angle do not provide enough evidence on the effectiveness of programs aimed at abusers. No articles were found in public health journals. The absence of scientific literature on this topic could be impeding informed policy-making and hindering efforts to put more effective intervention programs in place.

Keywords : Battered women; spouse abuse; domestic violence; review literature.

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