Australian Institute of Criminology

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Challenges of cross-cultural research on violence against women

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith, ACT
10 June 2008

Holly Johnson
Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada

Synopsis of presentation

Over the past 15 years, the number of countries that have undertaken specialised surveys on violence against women has grown to at least 70. Internationally comparative data are now needed to monitor the implementation for international agreements and norms, identify common risk factors, and develop appropriate responses at the national and international levels. The International Violence Against Women Survey is a cross-national comparative survey that has been conducted in 11 countries to date, including Australia. The focus of this seminar will be on the prevalence of violence against women in these countries, correlates of violence, impacts of violence, reporting to police, and implications of the results for policy development. The challenges of cross-cultural survey research will be highlighted.

About the speaker

Holly Johnson's interest and involvement in research designed to prevent violence against women spans two decades. She was the principal investigator of Statistics Canada's first national survey on violence against women and author of numerous publications on this topic. The methodology developed for interviewing women on sensitive topics has served as a model for similar surveys in many countries, including the International Violence Against Women Survey. She served as expert adviser to the Secretary-General's report on violence against women, and is a member of the UN Economic Commission for Europe Task Force on Violence Against Women Surveys, the UN Expert Group on Indicators to Measure Violence Against Women, and the World Health Organization's expert panel on primary prevention of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.