Hong Kong, the International Violence against Women Survey: Final Report of the 2006 HK IVAWS
110 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2012 Last revised: 11 Mar 2016
Date Written: June 4, 2012
Between 2003 and 2009, the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS) has been conducted in 12 developed and developing countries. The IVAWS is a comprehensive instrument that measures women’s experiences of physical and sexual violence by men, including intimate partners, victims’ help-seeking behaviour and the response of the criminal justice system. The instrument contains behaviour-specific questions and interviews were conducted solely by female callers, who have been trained in understanding the ways in which violence affects women and how they may react to the survey questions. The IVAWS uses standardised questionnaires and data collection methods, which makes it possible to reliably compare data across countries and cultures.
The IVAWS in Hong Kong: Between December 2005 and March 2006, a random sample of 1,297 Hong Kong women was interviewed by telephone about their experiences of violence using the IVAWS instrument. Demographic and socio-economic data were collected as well as details of their current and former intimate relationships. Women were asked, since the age of 16 years, in the previous five years, and in the past year if they had been victims of physical (including threats of violence) or sexual (including unwanted touching) violence by men. Further questions probed who the perpetrator was, particularly whether it was an intimate partner, a relative, a friend or acquaintance, or a stranger. From their responses, adult lifetime, five-year and one-year prevalence estimates are computed.
One in five women said that they had experienced violence since they were 16 years of age and an intimate partner assaulted nearly one in ten. Of the countries surveyed by the IVAWS, Hong Kong, along with the Philippines, recorded the lowest levels of VAW. Preliminary results of the Singapore IVAWS also show a low rate of VAW in Singapore (9.2% for all violence across the lifetime, see SAFV-NUS ), and from the UNICVS, we know that rates of violence are also low in Japan (van Dijk et al. 2007). The low rate of VAW in Hong Kong is consistent with low prevalence rates across all types of crime, and suggests that cultural influences that maintain criminality at low levels in East Asia are at play. To explore these influences further, it would be important to extend the IVAWS to other Asian countries, such as Japan, Thailand and Cambodia; and of course in a number of cities in Mainland China, such as Beijing and Shanghai, and inland cities such as Xi’an or Chongqing.
Keywords: crime victims, violence against women, China Hong Kong, United Nations crime survey, intimate partner violence
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation