Normalizing Violence: Vietnamese men's conceptualization of IPV and attitudes toward women seeking recourse Open Access

Bangcaya, Mikael (2015)

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Background: A recent national survey on intimate partner violence (IPV) in Vietnam reported a high prevalence of lifetime exposure among ever-married women by husbands. Previous studies on IPV in Vietnam are generally focused on women. As such, there is a lack of research that exclusively targets Vietnamese men's perspectives on aspects of IPV.

Objective: To explore how Vietnamese men conceptualize and define IPV, and to examine attitudes regarding women's recourse seeking following exposure to IPV.

Methods: Data from ten qualitative interviews and two focus group discussions (FGD) were used for secondary analysis. Interviews were extracted from a larger IPV study previously conducted in Vietnam. Grounded theory methods were used to frame analysis of interviews.

Results: Findings suggest that Vietnamese men had inconsistent and ambiguous definitions of IPV. Additionally, they minimized IPV perpetration or were unable to recognize perpetration. Moreover, IPV was justified among participants in various contexts (i.e. wives challenging gender roles, husband's 'hot temper,' actions while drunk, wife's fault). Participants' attitudes toward recourse seeking also depended on severity, frequency, and context of IPV.

Conclusion: Vietnamese men commonly described IPV perpetration using dichotomous terminology (e.g. normal/not normal). However, conceptions for specific actions that separate these terms were inconsistent. Ambiguity, in regard to defining acceptable behavior, is rooted in contextually justified IPV and attitudes toward recourse seeking. Interventions that help define IPV, clarify current laws, support recourse seeking, and promote gender equality need to be developed and implemented.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

Chapter 2: Literature Review 3

Defining Intimate Partner Violence 4

Intimate Partner Violence and Women 5

The Cost of Intimate Partner Violence 7

Recourse: IPV Services and Help-Seeking Behavior 8

Barriers to Seeking Recourse Among Survivors of IPV 10

Intimate Partner Violence in Vietnam 11

Chapter 3: Manuscript 14

Contribution of Student 15

Abstract 16

Introduction 17

Background 18

Method 22

Results 24

Defining Violence 24

Perceptions of IPV 25

Negotiating Whether Violence Warrants Recourse Seeking 24

Attitudes Toward Women Seeking Recourse 24

Discussion and Conclusions 32

References 35

Chapter 4: Public Health Implications 39

References 41

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