Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Domestic violence and violence against children in Ghana 2015

Mueller, Catherine and Tranchant, Jean-Pierre and Oosterhoff, Pauline (2016): Domestic violence and violence against children in Ghana 2015.

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Abstract

This paper investigates how domestic violence relates to violence against children, including severe corporal punishment. The literature suggests a link between intimate partner violence in the household and child abuse and maltreatment. Studies are, however, limited by the use of narrowly defined measures of violence against children, data availability, and a lack of characterization of domestic violence. In this paper we use original data on domestic violence and child disciplining methods from a nationally representative household survey collected in Ghana in 2015. We conduct analyses at the individual (are people exposed to domestic violence more likely to report perpetrating violence against children?) and the household level (are children in households characterized by domestic violence more likely to be violently disciplined?). At the individual level, the data allows us to distinguish between notions of control and economic, psychological, sexual and physical domestic violence. At the household level, we use the four-way classification of intimate partner violence by Johnson (2006). Multivariate regressions show a strong and robust association between domestic violence and violence against children. Children living in households with “intimate terrorism” are 2.4 times more likely to be subject to severe physical punishment. Likewise, women exposed to any form of domestic violence are twice, and men exposed to physical domestic violence seven times as likely to be violent against children as other respondents. The results are discussed based on insights from secondary literature and focus group discussions across Ghana conducted by the research team.

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