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Publication Details

Title :

Examining the Relationship Between Witnessing Intimate Partner Violence and Victimization Among Children in Saudi Arabia

Journal:

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Impact Factor:

1.579

Authors:

Majid A. Al-Eissa, Hassan N. Saleheen, Maha Almuneef

Affiliations:

Majid A. Al-Eissa

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center/King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia2National Family Safety Program, King Abdulaziz Medical City – Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hassan N. Saleheen

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center/King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia2National Family Safety Program, King Abdulaziz Medical City – Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Maha Almuneef

1King Abdullah International Medical Research Center/King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia2National Family Safety Program, King Abdulaziz Medical City – Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia3Department of Pediatrics, King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Year of Publication:

2017

DOI:

10.1177/0886260517696865

Abstract:

Childhood exposure to violence can lead to physical, mental, and emotional harm, whether a child is a direct victim or a witness to violent events. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) and victimization among children. A cross-sectional, national study was conducted in secondary high schools in the five main provinces of Saudi Arabia (SA) using International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) ISPCAN Child Abuse and Neglect Screening Tool–Child: Home version. Boys and girls, public and private schools were selected to participate. Students (N = 16,939) aged 15 to 18 years completed the survey instrument which included demographics, different types of abuse (physical, psychological, and sexual), neglect, and witnessing IPV. Mean age of the participants was 16.8 ± 0.9 years, and 51% were boys. Eighty-one percent lived with both parents, 6% with single parent, and 2% with step-parent. Fifty-two percent of the participants witnessed IPV. Those who witnessed IPV were more likely to be abused compared with those who did not (p < .01). Among those who witnessed physical IPV, girls had a significantly greater likelihood of experiencing psychological abuse (odds ratio [OR] = 3.7, confidence interval [CI] = [1.9, 6.8]), physical abuse (OR = 1.3, CI = [1.0, 1.6]), and neglect (OR = 1.6, CI = [1.4, 1.9]) but less likelihood of experiencing sexual abuse (OR = 0.6, CI = [0.5, 0.7]) than boys. Among those who witnessed psychological IPV, girls had a significantly greater likelihood of experiencing neglect (OR = 1.3, CI = [1.2, 1.5]) but less likelihood of experiencing sexual abuse (OR = 0.5, CI = [0.5, 0.6]) than boys. Boys who witnessed physical IPV and psychological IPV had a significantly greater likelihood of experiencing sexual abuse compared with girls. Witnessing IPV increases the chances of child and adolescent victimization. Multidisciplinary approaches involving social workers, law enforcement personnel, and domestic violence and child protection workers could effectively respond to this problem.