Young women’s perceptions of and attitudes towards intimate partner violence in Kibera, Nairobi city county
This study explored the perceptions of and attitudes towards intimate partner violence among young women in Kibera. The study specifically sought to describe the nature and magnitude of intimate partner violence, to establish the perceptions of and attitudes to intimate partner violence, and to investigate the relationship between perceptions, attitudes and experiences of intimate partner violence among those young women. The study employed a cross-sectional descriptive research design. A random sample of 107 eligible young women was selected from across Kibera. Data were collected through survey, key informant interviews, case studies and focus group discussions. Quantitative data were processed and analysed through Epi Info 7 computer software, and the findings presented using tables, bar graphs and pie charts. Qualitative data were organised and summarised in relation to the study objectives and emerging themes and the findings presented using direct quotations and selected comments, narratives and verbatim quotes. The study findings suggest high prevalence of intimate partner violence among young women in Kibera. Young women’s perceptions were found to be significantly associated with the type of intimate relationship and type and context of intimate partner violence. Attitudes were significantly associated with acceptance and justification of the violence. Experience of violence correlated with higher recognition of the violence. However, there was no significant correlation between experience of violence and attitudes to the violence. On the basis of the findings, the study concludes that intimate partner violence among young women in Kibera is a major problem. Risk factors include older age, lower education level, being in a dating relationship and agreement with violence supportive perceptions and attitudes. Therefore, the study recommends targeted intimate partner violence prevention and response interventions by the relevant state and non-state actors, including State Departments of Education, Gender, Children and Social Development and civil society organisations. The study also calls for sustained sensitization and awareness-raising programmes, attitude and behaviour change campaigns, psychosocial support services and further research on intimate partner violence.