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Characteristics of violence against women in Campina Grande, north-eastern Brazil

Lorena Marques Nobrega
Gigliana Maria Sobral Cavalcante
Italo de Macedo Bernardino
Ana Flávia Granville-Garcia
Efigênia Ferreira Ferreira
Sergio d'Avila


Background: Violence against women can have serious consequences, where these victims are affected physically, psychologically, and socially. The aim of this study was to shed light on the sociodemographic characteristics and the characteristics of the conflict suffered by the female victims of violence, who were referred to a forensic medicine and dentistry service in an industrialized city in North-eastern Brazil.

Methods: This study was performed in Campina Grande, Paraiba State (PB), Brazil, involving the analysis of 1704 reports of physical aggression in 2010; 883 reports involving female victims were selected. Sociodemographic data of the victims, circumstances of events, and characteristics of injuries were investigated. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, and chi-square test (p <0.05).

Results: The sample consisted of young women, with mean age of 29.3 years, mostly unmarried, with little education, and mostly not working. The most frequent aggressor was a male known to the victim. The events were mostly a result of non-instrumental aggression, causing multiple injuries. There was statistically significant difference between whether the aggressor was or was not a family member and marital status of the victim (p<.001), and a significant difference between the use of instrument in the conflict and the presence of facial injuries was found (p<.001). Young women accounted for a high proportion of victims of physical violence. A high percentage of facial traumas was observed.

Conclusion: Given the consequences of such trauma and its prevalence, it is important that future studies be conducted to highlight the risk factors, and to develop policies to combat violence against women.