Factors influencing attitudes to violence against women

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2009 Apr;10(2):125-42. doi: 10.1177/1524838009334131. Epub 2009 Apr 20.


Attitudes toward men's violence against women shape both the perpetration of violence against women and responses to this violence by the victim and others around her. For these reasons, attitudes are the target of violence-prevention campaigns. To improve understanding of the determinants of violence against women and to aid the development of violence-prevention efforts, this article reviews the factors that shape attitudes toward violence against women. It offers a framework with which to comprehend the complex array of influences on attitudes toward violent behavior perpetrated by men against women. Two clusters of factors, associated with gender and culture, have an influence at multiple levels of the social order on attitudes regarding violence. Further factors operate at individual, organizational, communal, or societal levels in particular, although their influence may overlap across multiple levels. This article concludes with recommendations regarding efforts to improve attitudes toward violence against women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Social Perception*
  • Social Values*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stereotyping*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*