Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Heather . Dillaway


Violence against women is a public health concern bearing substantial importance in developed and developing countries. In Jordan, there are no specific foundations or legislations in the penal code that illegalize domestic violence, and there are no confining orders to apply in cases of abuse. The purpose of this study was to examine Jordanian women attitudes towards spousal abuse and help-seeking preferences. A quantitative study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire; the survey contained questions from the Muslim Marital Violence Scale (MMVS, 2006) as well as demographic questions. A convenience sample of 199 women was recruited from Jordanian University of Science and Technology (JUST) located in Irbid. Statistical analysis was used to test for the significance of the selected factors (such as economic status, cultural and religious views, relationship with family, and financial independence) on women’s attitudes towards spousal abuse and help seeking preferences. Findings indicated that 26.7% of women have a history of abuse at some point in their lives. One third of participants indicated that either family opposed their marriage, however no association was found between women who reported that either family opposed marriage and between the women’s attitudes towards violence. More than a third of women knows of domestic abuse agency; however 35.9% of women indicated that there is no safe place to go if the wife decides to leave her violent husband. More importantly, the majority of participants reported that they cannot leave the husband because of the children indicating a strong cultural values. Data findings also emphasized that despite the fact that 64.9% of women indicated having a family that can support them financially, the percentage of women who indicated being hit in front of family was 13.7%. Results found an association between being hit in front of family and women’s acceptance of abuse. Therefore the extended family role as potential cause and protection against intimate partner violence should be studied further to examine the continued role of the wife’s and husband’s kin in women’s risk of IPV in Jordan. The findings may also apply to Arab American immigrants who hold similar cultural values. The results of this study can help in designing tools and culturally meaningful approaches for the prevention and treatment of violence.

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Sociology Commons