Is gender important? Victimisation and perpetration of intimate partner violence in mainland China

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Abstract

Establishing the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) has been recommended by International Conventions and Declarations for some time beginning with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Articles 12 and 19) in 1979. One important recommendation of such international protocols is the implementation of national population prevalence surveys to establishing IPV as a serious social issue globally, which is intended to provide data for planning effective responses within signatory countries. However, not all countries have undertaken national prevalence surveys meaning that there are gaps in our understanding of who are the perpetrators and victims of IPV in different cultural contexts. This article presents the results of a scoping review of literature examining gender differences in prevalence rates of victimisation and perpetration of IPV in mainland China (hereon China). There has been little written about the prevalence of IPV in China generally, and this scoping process located only nine peer-reviewed articles written in both English- and Chinese-language journals focusing on both gender and IPV published between 1997 and 2016. Results of this scoping review demonstrate that while both women and men perpetrate IPV in China, the prevalence rates of different types of IPV reflect gender differences in both perpetration and victimisation, suggesting that IPV is not a unitary phenomenon. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the findings including the importance of increasing awareness of IPV in China more generally and developing gender-specific interventions to directly address different types of IPV. Directions for future research are also canvassed.

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