Targeting Violence against Women in Bolivia and Vietnam

Population Briefs, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Targeting Violence against Women in Bolivia and Vietnam

Sexual and gender-based violence is a pervasive global health and rights problem rooted deeply in societal beliefs about the role of women and the low status of women and girls compared to men and boys. Most commonly, men are the perpetrators of such acts of violence, which can be physical, sexual, or psychological. When the aggressor is someone the woman or girl knows intimately, such violence is referred to as intimate partner violence or domestic violence. The Council is working around the world to strengthen and integrate health and other services to fully respond to the needs of women who experience sexual and gender-based violence. Council scientists recently reported on studies in Bolivia and Vietnam that explore gender-based violence and seek to help survivors.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are epidemics that disproportionately affect women. Council researchers and their colleagues surveyed pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in three provinces in Bolivia to determine the prevalence of IPV and the association between IPV and infection with syphilis. This survey is one of the first large-scale studies on the co-occurrence of IPV and STIs in Latin America and the first conducted in Bolivia.

After routine syphilis testing during antenatal care, women were asked four questions to assess their experience of physical and sexual violence:

1. In the last year, were you hit, slapped, kicked, or otherwise physically hurt frequently?

2. Who was the person who hit you?

3. Within the last year, did someone force you to have sexual intercourse against your will?

4. Who was this person?

Of the 6,002 women who responded and had a syphilis test, 20 percent (1,227 women) reported physical or sexual abuse, or both, committed by their partner in the past year. Women who reported IPV were twice as likely as women who did not to test positive for syphilis--8 percent versus 4 percent--a statistically significant result that remained significant after controlling for socioeconomic factors.

"Sexual and physical violence by a male partner may increase a woman's risk for STIs because the power imbalance in the relationship may diminish her ability to negotiate condom use or refuse sex," said Sandy Garcia, country director of the Population Council's Mexico City office and a researcher on the study. "In our study, additional sociodemographic factors significantly associated with positive syphilis tests--for example, number of previous pregnancies and male partners' education level--are similar to those significantly associated with a history of IPV. This suggests that both problems emerge from the same socioeconomic and cultural contexts."

The Council scientists concluded that Bolivia's new maternal and infant health program in antenatal clinics, which includes universal syphilis screening, should also provide screening and follow-up care for new mothers who have experienced IPV. "Antenatal clinics are important locations for addressing a number of sensitive health issues, including intimate partner violence and STIs," says Garcia. "Among pregnant women, antenatal clinics often serve as a first encounter with the medical system and provide a less stigmatizing environment than an STI clinic."


Over the last decade, the Population Council has provided technical assistance to the Hanoi Health Department in Vietnam to tackle gender-based violence. The Council helped develop and introduce procedures to assist health workers in screening for gender-based violence (GBV) and to support survivors by providing or referring them for services. A pilot project at Duc Giang Hospital, which arose from this collaboration, is the first model in the Vietnamese health system that systematically screens for GBV and provides treatment and referrals. The project included the establishment of the Women's Center for Counseling and Health Care at the hospital. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Targeting Violence against Women in Bolivia and Vietnam


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.