Method Matters: Underreporting of Intimate Partner Violence in Nigeria and Rwanda

43 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020 Last revised: 17 Jun 2020

See all articles by Claire Cullen

Claire Cullen

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

This paper analyzes the magnitude and predictors of misreporting on intimate partner and sexual violence in Nigeria and Rwanda. Respondents were randomly assigned to answer questions using one of three survey methods: an indirect method (list experiment) that gives respondents anonymity; a direct, self-administered method that increases privacy; and the standard, direct face-to-face method. In Rwanda, intimate partner violence rates increase by 100 percent, and in Nigeria, they increase by up to 39 percent when measured using the list method, compared with direct methods. Misreporting was associated with indicators often targeted in women’s empowerment programs, such as gender norms and female employment and education. These results suggest that standard survey methods may generate significant underestimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and biased correlations and treatment effect estimates.

Keywords: Gender, Domestic violence, Measurement, Norms

JEL Classification: J12, J16, K42, O15

Suggested Citation

Cullen, Claire, Method Matters: Underreporting of Intimate Partner Violence in Nigeria and Rwanda (June 2020). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9274, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3624515

Claire Cullen (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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