Shiraj, Nazanin (2020) Iranian women's perception of intimate partner abuse in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Though the understanding of the problem of intimate partner abuse (IPA) has grown over the years, limited focus has been given to the voices of minority women and their perception of IPA. The present research aim was to understand how Iranian women in the UK perceive IPA by men towards women, and what influences such perceptions. It was decided that a more comprehensive understanding of the construction of Iranian women’s perception of IPA can be sought through mixed-methods research. Therefore, the present research took an explanatory mixed-method approach where the quantitative data helped to guide a purposeful sampling for the qualitative phase. An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was taken in which the quantitative study (phase one) used questionnaires to identify the predicting socio-demographic variables that influenced women’s perception of IPA before comparing the Iranian and non-Iranian sample together. Phase one was subsequently followed by the qualitative study (phase two) where 16 Iranian women were purposefully selected to be interviewed about a vignette using semi-structured interviews.

The regression analysis showed that the socio-demographic characteristics of marital status, education, religion, income, and ethnicity are able to predict the perception of IPA amongst Iranian and non-Iranian women in the UK. Furthermore, Iranian women have significantly better legal knowledge of IPA than non-Iranian women in the UK. However, Iranian women also have significantly more accepting attitudes towards male violence than non-Iranian women in the UK. Phase two of the research indicated that Iranian women who endorsed the traditional gender roles minimised IPA and had victim blaming attitudes. The findings from phase one and phase two suggest that although certain socio-demographic variables are able to predict the perception of IPA, Iranian women’s attitudes towards traditional gender roles have a fundamental role in shaping their understanding of IPA.

The mandate of this research is not to ostracize women of other cultures or to cast judgement for or against beliefs, but to better understand how culture and social interactions can influence the perception of IPA. This understanding is critical for identifying women who are at most risk of IPA in the UK. Future implications for practice and research are outlined in the present research.

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