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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


LE FRANC, Elsie et al. Interpersonal violence in three Caribbean countries: Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.6, pp.409-421. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: This article reports the prevalence of two types of interpersonal violence (IPV) (sexual and physical) and one type of aggression (psychological) in three low-to-middle-income Caribbean countries. It examines IPV among adolescents and young adults as both victims and perpetrators. METHODS: This population-based study compares the experiences of 15-30 year olds in countries at different levels of socioeconomic development. The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2) and other behavioral instruments were used to assess the level and characteristics of IPV. RESULTS: Out of 3 401 respondents, 70.9% reported victimization by some form of violence, which was most commonly perpetrated by a relationship partner (62.8%). Sexual violence victimization was reported more commonly by women, and was highest in Jamaica. Significant between-country differences in overall levels of reported physical violence, and psychological aggression, were evident when stratifying by perpetrator type. CONCLUSIONS: The very high levels of reported IPV indicate very high levels of tolerance among victims, and suggest a culture of violence and of adversarial intimate relationships may be well entrenched. The findings support the view that co-occurrence of general interpersonal violence and partner violence may be limited, and that one may not necessarily be a predictor of the other. They also reveal that, among partners, not only are there no gender differentials in victimization by physical violence, but more women than men are self-reporting as perpetrators of this type of IPV.

Keywords : Sexual violence; domestic violence; aggression; adolescent; adult; Barbados; Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago.

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