Physical abuse in low-income women in Aleppo, Syria

Health Care Women Int. 2003 Apr;24(4):313-26. doi: 10.1080/07399330390191689.


Violence against women is a vicious practice present in all societies. Yet data about its occurrence and associated factors are scarce in the Arab world. In this study, we attempt to determine the spread of physical abuse and its sociodemographic correlates among low-income women in Aleppo, Syria. A sample of 411 women was recruited from 8 randomly selected primary care centers in Aleppo. Response rate was 97%, mean age of participants 28 +/- 8 years, and most women (88%) were married. A special questionnaire was used including questions about physical abuse, the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ-20), and questions about relevant sociodemographic information. Current physical abuse (battering at least 3 times during the previous year) was found in 23% of the investigated and among 26% of married women, while regular abuse (battering at least once weekly) was found in 3.3% of married women. Correlates of physical abuse were women's education, religion, age, marital status, economic status, mental distress, smoking, and residence. Our data show that physical abuse is prevalent in this population and that women's education is the most important modifiable factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Consanguinity
  • Educational Status
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Population Surveillance
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syria / epidemiology
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women's Health