Although intimate partner violence occurs in all races, ages, cultures and socioeconomic levels, research has focused primarily on intimate partner violence in the Western Hemisphere. In stark contrast, there are only limited studies examining intimate partner violence in African countries. More specifically, this phenomenon has rarely been studied in Kenya, despite the high rate of occurrence in this country.
The study was guided by the following research questions: What is the influence of employment status on intimate partner violence? What is the influence of the victim's age on intimate partner violence? What is the influence of the victim's educational attainment on intimate partner violence? What is the influence of the victim's socioeconomic status on intimate partner violence? What is the collective influence of employment, age, education, and socioeconomic status on intimate partner violence?
This study used mixed methodology to explore intimate partner violence as it is experienced by Kenyan women. First, a quantitative analysis is provided of secondary data from 4221 Kenyan women from the population-based survey data from the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Study. Secondly, this study included a qualitative exploration of 8 Kenyan women through indepth individual interviews. This mixed methodology research provided a broadened perspective on intimate partner violence, examining contributing factors such as the independent variables of the influence of employment, the victim's age, victim's education, and socioeconomic status. Intimate partner violence served as the dependent variable.
Results of this quantitative and qualitative study indicated Kenyan women who were older and employed were more likely to experience intimate partner violence than younger unemployed Kenyan women. Kenyan women with more education and Kenyan women with higher socioeconomic status experienced less intimate partner violence. Additionally, women who had more education also had a higher socioeconomic level. This study adds to the literature and broadens insight into the phenomenon of intimate partner violence and the factors that contribute as it occurs in Kenya.
Based on the results of the study, recommendations are made to find solutions for addressing the increased need for more education, training, and job opportunities for Kenyan women. Recommendations called for theories and treatment interventions that recognize diversity and understand that women are not a homogeneous group. Given the diverse population of Kenya and the wide-reaching effects of intimate partner violence, the development and implementation of culturally appropriate research, assessment, and treatment services should be a high priority.