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Purpose: To identify patterns of violence against women (VAW) in three communities in Alexandria, Egypt, and develop recommendations to address the issue.
Design and Methods: One hundred fifty women were randomly selected and interviewed from each of the three settings representing an urban, squatter, and rural community in Alexandria, for a total sample of 450 women.
Results: More than half (60% and 59.3%) of the squatter and rural women, as compared to less than half of urban women (41.3%), reported they were exposed to domestic violence (DV) at least once in their marriages. Rural and squatter women believed that husbands have a right to beat their wives and have sex with their wives whenever they desire. About half of urban, squatter, and rural women (48.4%, 56.7%, and 61%, respectively) did not seek help when they were beaten despite incurring injuries. Exposure to DV was associated with many factors including the woman's education, occupation, number of children, and socioeconomic status.
Clinical Implications: The following recommendations are made: empowering women and girls to lead change by increasing their access to education and information; meeting the needs of abused women; mobilizing advocacy initiative by enlisting social, political, and other leaders to speak about VAW; changing policies and legislation to address gender-based violence; conducting education, awareness, and sensitization programs highlighting the problem; screening for violence in healthcare facilities and developing culture sensitive protocols for prevention and interventions for DV; and promoting nurses' participation and involving men in movements to end VAW.
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