Rachael Pierotti

Global cultural attitudes increasingly oppose domestic violence, and women exposed to those attitudes are more likely to think domestic violence is not acceptable, according to a recent study. ISR researcher Rachael Pierotti examined USAID data about women in 26 low- and middle-income countries and found that in 23 of those countries attitudes have changed significantly since the early 2000s. An April 29 Washington Post article featuring the results of the study noted that the trend against domestic violence is occurring in all parts of the world, indicating that cultural factors such as religion and geographic location aren’t the primary determinants in how people feel about violence against women. Pierotti also pointed out that neither urbanization nor growing incomes alone account for the shift. Rather, the move in global attitudes—along with an increase in urban living, education, and access to media—appears to be responsible for the change. The largest change occurred in Nigeria, where 52 percent of women rejected domestic violence in 2008, compared with 33 percent in 2003.