Huiselijk Geweld; Een onderzoek naar verschillen in attitude ten aanzien van huiselijk geweld tussen Europese landen
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Background: Research regarding domestic violence as a societal problem is a complex matter. Scientists use different kinds of methodologies which lead to widely different estimates concerning the prevalence of domestic violence (Hoyle & Zedner, 2007; Maguire, 2007; Alhabib, Nur & Jones, 2010; Hasselt et al., 1988). Nevertheless policies against domestic violence in the European Union (EU) are developing. The contemporary policy debate and vision of the EU regarding domestic violence have a strong emphasis on the influence of gender inequality (Kantola, 2010; Römkens, 2010; Fábián, 2010). Meanwhile, during the last decades a contradictory trend is visible in Dutch policies against domestic violence in which the influence of gender inequality and socioeconomic inequalities are being disclaimed (Römkens, 2010). Purpose: This study examines differences between European countries in attitudes towards domestic violence against women and attempts to explain them. Expectations are being formulated based upon theories at a macrosociological level, by using the Resource Theory (Bloode & Wolfe, 1960), Subculture of Violence thesis (Wolfgang & Ferracuti, 1967,1982), Social Control theory (Gelles, 1983) and the Patriarchal perspective (Martin, 1976). Furthermore this study examines to which extent Esping-Andersen's welfare state typology (Esping-Andersen, 1990;1999) is applicable to the comparison of European countries regarding attitudes towards domestic violence. Method: Data is used from the Eurobarometer 73.2 Domestic Violence Against Women 2010 (n=19.878) to test expectations on nineteen European countries and six types of welfare states. Expectations are being based upon the degree of socioeconomic equality, violence, individualism and gender inequality on country level for which four indexes have been used. A positive attitude is defined as having a high acceptance of domestic violence and regarding specified forms of domestic violence as not being serious. Results: Results show significant differences between countries and welfare states in their attitudes towards domestic violence against women, though ranges are small. Tested hypotheses indicate that socioeconomic inequality within countries leads to positive attitudes towards domestic violence. Unexpectedly the more types of violence are taking place within a country, the more negative attitudes against domestic violence become. Conclusion: It can be concluded that there are differences between countries and welfare states in their attitudes towards domestic violence against women. However these differences are small, therefore it must be stated that in general all European countries have a negative attitude towards domestic violence. Limitations of this study and directions for future research have been discussed, which indicates that future research should be aimed at an individual level as well by using a multi-level analysis. Finally policy implications have been discussed, in which it is argued that EU policy should address attitudes towards domestic violence, especially in post-communist countries, to tackle domestic violence as a societal problem.