Chevillard, J., Gianettoni, L., & Jaquier, V. (2016). A methodological journey towards integrating a gender perspective into the measurement of violence against women and intimate partner violence. FORS Working Paper Series, paper 2016-3. Lausanne: FORS.
gender symmetry; intimate partner violence; prevalence studies; screening questions; sexual violence; violence against women; wording.
Over the past 40 years, violence against women has been the subject of a multidisciplinary dialogue regarding its nature, origins, and “true numbers,” as illustrated by the increasing number of publications on the issue. This debate has focused on how violence against women compares to other forms of interpersonal violence and how individual victimization experiences are to be understood in the broader system of hierarchical gender relations and inequalities. Most importantly, scholars struggled to integrate sociocultural factors into measurement tools that individualize or decontextualize violent behaviors. This debate has been tightly intertwined with—and fostered by—the collection of an increasing amount of empirical data, although several gaps remain. In this contribution, we review some of the specifics of gender based violence: how it is defined, operationalized, and ultimately measured through various types of prevalence studies. We briefly describe the development of dedicated violence against women surveys, and how international efforts contributed to the dissemination of best practices and survey guidelines. With this in mind, we reflect on the current state of research on violence against women and intimate partner violence in Switzerland and highlight promising avenues for further developing rigorous gender based violence prevalence studies building on the state-of-the-art international expertise.
© the authors 2018. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)