Intimate partner violence against women in Turkey: evidence from a national household survey - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Intimate partner violence against women in Turkey: evidence from a national household survey

Aysegul Kayaoglu

May, 2019


J12. Marriage • Marital Dissolution • Family Structure • Domestic Abuse
J31. General
J16. Economics of Gender • Non-labor Discrimination
J. Labor and Demographic Economics

According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2018), one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence at one point in their lives. This situation is hardly any different in Turkey. Studies in the literature suggest that the greatest threat for women in Turkey are mostly inside their houses and the hands they fall prey to mostly belong to their partners. This study aims to understand the factors associated with the probability of experiencing not only physical or sexual violence but also emotional, psychological and economic abuse by women in Turkey who got married at least once, using a nationwide household survey. Firstly, theory of exposure reduction is not fully satisfied because we find that it is not only employment but also the quality of it that also matters for the violence. Secondly, theory of male backlash and extraction effect hypothesis are confirmed in cases of physical and sexual violence. Thirdly, in terms of testing the household bargaining model, we conclude that there is a U-shape relationship between economic abuse and income gap. Fourthly, women who are the only income earners in the household faces higher likelihood of physical and sexual violence compared to those who have same income with their husbands or who do not contribute to household income at all. Lastly, we establish that the cycle of violence theory plays the dominating role in the Turkish case among all other theoretical explanations used to explain the domestic violence.

Research Associates

Aysegul Kayaoglu

Assistant Professor of Economics at Istanbul Technical University



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