Muslim Immigrant Men's and Women's Attitudes Towards Intimate Partner Violence


  • Marialuisa Gennari
  • Cristina Giuliani
  • Monica Accordini


This study aims to study the attitudes towards Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in a group of Muslim immigrants. To this end, six focus-groups were conducted involving 42 first-generation Muslim immigrants (21 males and 21 females) from Pakistan, Egypt and Morocco. Focus groups transcripts were then analyzed using the software ATLAS.ti. Irrespectively of nationality, couples replicate relational models learnt in their country of origin, implying a rigid gender-based role division. Women are considered less socially competent if compared to men and therefore in need of protection. Divorce is possible only in case of severe danger: women have to stand beside their husbands and maintain family unity. Even though they are not directly related to IPV, these factors may be key in determining its onset and perpetration. With regards to ethnic background, Pakistani interviewees not only seem to acknowledge the possible occurrence of violence within couple relationships, they also accept it as a mean to regulate socially dysfunctional behaviors. Both Moroccan males and females denounce the impact of post migration stressors as potential triggers of IPV. The distance from one’s family of origin in migration is perceived as problematic by both men and women, however, while males’ distance from their kin might make them feel overwhelmed with family responsibilities and give way to deviant behaviors, women suffer from the lack of support and protection by their extended family. Implications for practice are also discussed.