নভেম্বর ৬, ২০২২
Exploring the experiences of male perpetrators of Violence Against Women in Bangladesh

Exploring the experiences of male perpetrators of Violence Against Women in Bangladesh: A qualitative study Research Unit, Monitoring of State Interventions to Combat Violence Against Women Naripokkho

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First Published: February 2010
Copyright ©  Naripokkho, Bangladesh

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ISBN: 978-984-33-2154-1

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Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi led the overall research design, data analysis and recommendations. Rita Das Roy coordinated the implementation of the project, with the help of Kamrun Nahar. Mosammat Nazma Khatun played an important part in questionnaire design, data collection, and data analysis. Shaheen Nafisa Siddique also helped with questionnaire design, data collection and data analysis. Farah Deeba, initially helped review the design of the study, and the findings. Dr. Nargis Islam analysed the data from a psychological perspective, and reviewed the report.

Naripokkho members U.M. Habibun Nessa, Maheen Sultan, Shireen Huq, Rina Sen Gupta and Ruby Ghuznavi gave valuable inputs at various stages. Mosammat Nazma Khatun, Shaheen Nafisa Siddique, Ruma Khondaker, Manjuman Ara, Md. Jianur Kabir, Tanzir Ahmend Tushar, Md. Saiful Alam, Md. Abu Sayed and Md Shibly Sadeque conducted the interviews. We are also grateful to the research External Advisory Committee: Dr. Md. Mahmudur Rahman, Kamal Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, Tarun Kanty Gayen, A.B.M. Akhtar and Md. Johir Uddin, who gave valuable comments especially during the design and piloting phase of the project.

This research was made possible by funding from the Manusher Jonno Foundation and cooperation from the relevant government authorities.

Naripokkho, a member-based women’s activist organisation, has been working for the elimination of  Violence Against Women (VAW) since its inception in 1983.  In the early ’90s, a need was felt by Naripokkho to conduct its own research on VAW in Bangladesh to better understand how to deal with VAW, and to better support our advocacy efforts with evidence on incidence, frequency, types and underlying causes. Naripokkho subsequently conducted a pilot study on VAW (1996-1998), a Rapid Assessment of VAW commissioned by Danida for the formulation of a government multi-sectoral programme on VAW (1997), and jointly with International Centre for Diarrhoea Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), took part in the Bangladesh part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women (2005). Naripokkho has also completed a decade of an ongoing action research project which has been monitoring police stations, hospitals and courts throughout Bangladesh to assess the functioning and effects of State interventions on VAW.

Naripokkho has used its research findings to advocate for necessary changes at the national and local levels, and to bring about awareness and action at the individual and community levels, through a range of strategies including awareness raising, forming alliances, constituency building and advocacy for policy and legal reform.

Preliminary research done by Naripokkho on men and their attitudes in 1997 made us feel that follow-up research was necessary. The WHO survey results also pointed to the importance of the attitudes and previous experiences of perpetrators of violence. When Naripokkho started elaborating prevention strategies for VAW, we felt the need to study the process through which men become men who are violent towards women. If the motivation of perpetrators of violence (i.e. those who had been convicted of a violent crime, and/or those who had admitted to violent behaviour towards women) could be analysed, along with their attitudes and life experiences, this may shed light on the factors which cause men to behave violently towards women, and therefore give an insight into what could be done at the government and societal level to prevent men from engaging in such behaviour in the first place (i.e. give an idea of what interventions could be put in place). Hence this current study was undertaken.

The findings from this pilot effort are indicative of what the possible issues are and some probable interventions. However, more clearly the results point to the various directions of future research which can be undertaken to further our understanding of the processes at play. Further research could give a better indication of the type of interventions which need to be adopted to help prevent men becoming perpetrators of violence, and hence help reduce Violence Against Women.

Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi

Executive Summary
Violence Against Women (VAW) is a major problem in Bangladesh. Previous studies have indicated 40-60% of married women in Bangladesh experience physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and adolescent girls aged 11-15 years are most vulnerable to abduction, rape, trafficking and acid attack. A study was carried out by Naripokkho, an women’s activist organisation, to examine the experiences of male perpetrators of VAW in order to gain an understanding of what motivates them to commit acts of VAW and what maintains their violent behaviour. The long term aim of the study was to develop interventions to reduce VAW.

A qualitative research design was employed to explore the experiences of men who have been convicted or accused of acts of VAW. Thirty-three legally convicted perpetrators of violent acts and self-identified perpetrators of domestic violence were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire and an in-depth unstructured interview design.

Results from a phenomenological analysis of the data indicated that the perpetrators were locating the responsibility of violence in others and thus delegating personal responsibility for their violent behaviour. This was perceived to be concurrent with feelings of hopelessness. Violent behaviour could be understood as being a defense against difficult experiences and feelings e.g. powerlessness, rejection, fear, anxiety. The violent behaviour appeared to be rooted in gendered inequality, as the perpetrators had a prevailing notion of male superiority and the need to assert authority as a male. The results indicate that perpetrators of VAW are men who manage difficult feelings and experiences through acts of VAW. There is some cause to believe their social context and environment may be a factor in maintaining their violent behaviour e.g. through social narratives of male entitlement. 

Although further research needs to be conducted to assess whether these findings can be generalised for a wider population of perpetrators of VAW, there are already major policy and service

delivery implications emerging from the pilot study findings. It seems interventions could be designed with a two-pronged approach; preventative and rehabilitative. Policy and services would need to enable boys and men to learn to manage their difficult emotions and sexuality in an appropriate and healthy way. Accessibility to men, and engaging men with these interventions could be a challenge.

Chapter 1

“There is not one among us in whom a devil does not dwell. At sometime, on some point, that devil masters each of us. It is not having been in the dark house but having left that counts.”

 -Theodore Roosevelt

  1. Background and Context

The United Nations Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines VAW as “any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering of women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in private or public life”. This statement defines violence as acts that cause, or have the potential to cause harm, and by introducing the term ”gender based” emphasises that it is rooted in inequality between women and men (Krantz & Garcia-Moreno, 2005). Gender based violence has been defined as “…any act or threats of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately” (Richters, 1994).

Over the decades issues pertaining to VAW have received increasing attention as a worldwide phenomenon (Fischback & Herbert, 1997; Hagen & Postmus, 2000). The ongoing work of organised feminist movements in addition to public and mental health projects have sought and succeeded in raising the awareness of the prevalence and negative effects of VAW which have in turn affected social and legal policy (Hunnicutt, 2009).

A part of the present study focused on those accused of violence under the Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children Act, 2003 in Bangladesh. As such, it appears relevant to highlight the definition of violence given by the Bangladesh Penal Code Act (1890), which covers criminal force and assault, and is defined as the ‘Intentional use of force against a person without consent, to cause injury, fear or annoyance’. This is considered ‘criminal force’ and is punishable by law. A person is understood as committing ‘assault’ if he or she makes any gesture or preparation, which causes one to recognise that ‘criminal force’ is about to be used. Violence that involves ‘criminal force’ is easier to identify and is the form that is more visible in society- rape, murder, acid throwing are obvious examples of such criminal violence. It is worth noting that the definitions recognise that VAW include acts of physical, sexual and psychologically demeaning behaviour, and that such behaviour has negative effects which  results in significant physical and emotional impairment in women, a finding which is supported in the VAW literature (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000; Wathen & MacMillan, 2003; WHO 2005).

The types of violence that are recognised by the Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children Act (2003) include rape, kidnapping or abduction, dowry, acid throwing, murder after rape and trafficking. Data gathered from available sources in Bangladesh is potentially inaccurate given the lack of reporting, inconsistent methods of data collection and inaccuracy of documentation. With this in mind, Table 1 sets out the prevalence, magnitude and trends of VAW in Bangladesh from police reports:  

Table-1: Number of cases of violence by category and year

The data appears to reflect the substantial increase in reporting of dowry related violence, abductions, rape and homicide between 2001 and 2008. One explanation could be that work conducted by various activist groups and non-government organisations (NGO’s) has had some success in raising social awareness of VAW issues. To illustrate this, Table-2 sets out cases of violence dealt with by various NGOs working in Bangladesh:

Table-2: Number of cases of violence by categories, dealt with selected NGOs

* The upper number in the table indicates number of incidents and the number within bracket indicates the number of thanas where the NGOs were working

While there appears to be little research or audits on the reasons for the increase in the reporting of violent acts, or indeed the role of police recognition of such acts as being illegal, this data provides evidence of the prevalence and incidence of domestic violence in Bangladesh, and suggests that, for whatever reason, women are reporting such incidents in greater numbers.

Despite the discrepancies in the accuracy of the available data in Bangladesh, it is plausible to assume that these numbers reflect only a fraction of the incidence of violence and the range of domestic violence acts in Bangladesh. Supporting this incidence of VAW acts is a household survey conducted by Naripokkho on VAW experiences between 1996 and 1998 in Dhaka (Azim, 2001).  895 surveys were collected and findings indicated a 60% prevalence rate of domestic violence among adult married women. Findings also suggested that adolescent girls (aged between 11 and 15 years) were most at risk, especially to abduction, rape, trafficking and acid attacks. Azim’s findings of prevalence rates for domestic violence were consistent with a later study published in 2005 by Naripokkho and ICDDR,B, as part of a multi country WHO study, which found that 40% to 60% of married women in Bangladesh reported experiencing physical, verbal or sexual abuse by their husbands. Similar findings are present in studies from other countries. Desjarlais et al. (1995) conducted a multicultural study and recorded findings that showed 60 per cent of randomly sampled women in Sri Lanka had been beaten by their husbands. Spousal killing accounted for 50 per cent of all murders of women in Bangladesh. One out of three women in Mexico is a victim of family violence; 50 per cent of women in Bangkok’s largest slum and about 60 per cent of women from both poor and elite groups in Papua New Guinea are beaten regularly. In India, Sriram (1991) reported that 35-60 per cent of women were battered by their husbands in Gujarat. Agnes (1988) similarly reported that up to 30 per cent of women suffer gross assault, also noting that domestic violence cuts across education and income levels, occurring in both joint and nuclear families. Even if we leave aside cases of purely verbal and mental abuse and just look at physical violence, the statistics are shocking (Bancroft, 2002).

  1. Violence Against Women : Current Theories

Research has currently converged on several main theoretical approaches to understanding the phenomena of VAW. These approaches and their concomitant theories will be briefly outlined below:

Individualist theories: These theories postulate that VAW is a problem located within the individual.

  1. Learned Helplessness/Battered women’s syndrome: The Theory phenomena of VAW (Walker 1983) and represented a pioneering feminist approach to understand the psychological effects of victimisation for abused women. Herman (1998) built upon this to develop the concept of the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ where the attachment to the attacker is an appropriate survival strategy, when the victim is dependent on the abuser for basic needs (e.g. food) which is controlled by the abuser.  However, these theories have little predictive value and there appear to be no typologies of who is likely to be abused.
  2. ‘Women Blaming’ explanations: These are common explanations in the public domain and collude with perpetrators’ claims of provocation and denial of responsibility. This concept of the ‘displacement of responsibility’ can be linked to psychoanalytic ideas regarding the ‘transference’ of feelings, moods or desires to another object or person, as acknowledgement of these feelings in the individual is intolerable. With regard to women blaming explanations, is it hypothesised that the explanations and justifications are rooted in assumptions of gendered roles and expectations of ‘appropriate’ or ‘unacceptable’ female behaviour in performance of domestic or sexual duties. There is an assumption that women ‘deserve’ to be chastised through violence if necessary, and this in turn indicates a strong adherence to cultural attitudes based on gender inequality and male entitlement in domestic and social arrangements. This perspective has interestingly strongly influenced the direction of psychological enquiry and has led researchers to seek explanation for the perpetrator’s abuse in the character of the victim. The critique aimed at this line of enquiry can be encapsulated in the following quotation: ‘The search for characteristics of women that contribute to their own victimisation is futile…Men’s violence is men’s behaviour. As such, it is not surprising that the more fruitful efforts to explain this behaviour have focused on male characteristics. What is surprising is the enormous effort to explain male behaviour by examining characteristics of women’ (Hotaling and Sugarman, 1986).

iii. Male Pathologies:  This perspective seeks to make sense of the ‘deviant’ behaviour of psychologically disturbed men. Research in this area mostly seeks to explore the perpetrator’s childhood and other experiences which might engender violent behaviour in men. The hypotheses in such research views disturbed/violent men as suffering from more distress, personality disorders, anger/hostility, alcohol problems than men who have not had such a disturbed background history. Other explanations about men who become abusers also postulate that they are likely to lack resources or feel powerless, and they are more likely to have violence in their family of origin (Holtzworth-Munroe et al 1997). Psychological theories of attachment postulate that abusive men are more likely to have an insecure attachment to the primary caregiver in childhood (Dutton 2005). The premise is that violent patterns of behaviour are long standing and firmly entrenched, and treatment must be intensive and individualised.

  1. Disinhibition caused by alcohol or substance misuse: This explanation is based to some extent on the premise that men are ‘naturally violent’ and this is unleashed by the misuse of substances. Research suggests that alcohol is indeed a factor in many domestic assaults (ESRC, 2002). However, the majority of perpetrators are not users of alcohol or drugs and there is also evidence to suggest that 76% of physically abusive episodes occur in the absence of alcohol (Kantor and Strauss, 1987). Despite this evidence, many believe that alcohol and substance misuse is a socially acceptable reason for ‘loss of control’ (Horley, 2002).
  2. Cycle of Violence (Generational): This explanation is contentious, with arguments both for and against in the literature (Kelly 1999; Peled, Jaffe and Edleston 1995). It takes a biological and social learning perspective (Bandura, 1973), that children observe the consequences of behaviour, and learn which ones achieve desired results without incurring negative sanctions. When aggressive behaviour is modelled at home for example, such patterns become entrenched and will be replicated in their own adult life. Criticisms of this perspective are that the explanations are deterministic, with the assumption that both men and women become resigned to use of violence and victimisation as somehow inevitable, unchangeable or continuous. The cycle also excludes those who are deemed to have had a ‘normal’ and ‘non-violent’ background, which is interesting as many studies show that the majority of abusers come from non-violent backgrounds (Kelly 1999). This theory also does not explain why the intergenerational transmission of abusive behaviour is not universal.

Family or systems theories: This approach focuses on problematic patterns of interaction within families.

  1. Family/Systems Conflict and ‘Family Violence’ Approach: This approach understands the family as a dynamic organisation made up of interdependent components, where the behaviour of one member (e.g. violent man) is affected by responses and feedback of other members. Research compares the communication, the relationships and the problem solving skills of couples between ‘violent couples’ with ‘non-violent couples’. Violence is understood as being used to ‘correct’ behaviour or dynamics to enable functioning of family according to appropriate roles/ behaviours. Research from this perspective undertaken in western countries has suggested that women are equally likely to initiate as men, and with equivalent motivations, with over 100 empirical studies that support this contention. This has led to widespread confusion among the general public and policy makers presumably because it is more ‘normal’ to assume that men are naturally violent and women are not (Kimmel 2002). In addition to this, criticisms leveled against this perspective are that the studies assume accurate and unbiased self-reporting, exclude any record or measurement of sexual violence, and frame issues within assumptions of ‘conflict’ or ‘disagreement’, not ‘power’ and ‘control’, thus failing to identify the underlying gendered dynamics. A major criticism therefore of the ‘systems’ and ‘family violence’ approach is that it does not address gendered realities and avoids any critique of the underlying structures of male privilege, and essentially fails to articulate the complexity and intentionality of VAW.

Structuralist Approaches: Such approaches understand VAW as a social problem that is located in social, political, cultural and ideological structures, seeking explanations that are beyond the individual.

  1. Violence as intrinsic and endemic part of social structure: Here, VAW is understood as a ‘stress reaction’ to problems in families, relationships, or circumstances. Issues such as poverty, unemployment, isolation, homelessness, loss of (male) social status and tension have all been referred to as causal factors in VAW. However, such explanations do not account for the incidence of VAW in wealthy and privileged socio-economic classes, or the non-abusive behaviours of many others suffering poverty, or other social inequalities. Critics have argued that this perspective allows abusers to avoid responsibility, or even to ‘justify’ acts of violence. In addition to this, this approach has been criticised for not explaining the gendered issues in VAW, and it is argued that if this approach was plausible then poor and unemployed women would also be major perpetrators of acts of violence. 
  2. Feminist theoretical approaches: The feminist approach is grounded in the principle that VAW is a consequence of the male oppression of women within a patriarchal system in which men are the primary perpetrators of violence and women the primary victims (Dobash & Dobash, 1979; Walker, 1979). According to this approach, male violence towards women results from historic and current power differentials that maintain the subordinate position of women, primarily through the use of control, including physical, sexual, economic, and psychological abuse, comprising tactics of intimidation and isolation (Domestic Abuse Intervention Project [DAIP], n.d.). Feminist interventions for change have a broad range of targets and concerns, including political, legislative and cultural change to support equality and economic justice for women, as well as provision of services. This approach also understands ‘male power’ as being located not only or primarily in physical power and aggression, but in the major institutions, structures and ideologies of capitalism. Furthermore, male entitlement is sustained by violence, and is often attributed to male socialisation (Miedzian, 1991). The feminist model challenges male entitlement and privilege as well as the traditional notion that domestic violence is a private family matter. Feminist theories contend that many of the problems faced by women, including violence, are caused by social, cultural, and political forces requiring action at the policy level (McPhail et al 2007). Early feminist perspectives primarily focused on gender as a category for analysis, however, later theories have acknowledged the importance of looking at the intersections of gender and other systems of oppression, such as race, class, national origin, sexual orientation, age, and disability (Collins, 2000). Violence is therefore socially produced and often culturally legitimised.

In summary, it appears that there are several perspectives on the causal factors for why men are violent towards women. It is apparent, however, that no single approach is universally accepted as an explanatory model for VAW to date.  The current study was developed from a feminist perspective, and as such seeks to examine the phenomena of VAW from perpetrators’ perspectives with a clear awareness of the social, cultural, and political forces which are at play.

  1. Rationale for the Current Study

While there are many empirical studies of the incidence of VAW, and research on the experiences of women who have been victims of violence, the literature search revealed little information on the experiences and perspectives of perpetrators of VAW on why they engage in VAW. As such, the researchers in the current study set out to qualitatively examine and make sense of the perpetrators own understandings of why they engage in violent behaviour towards women. This was considered important for a number of reasons. Analysis of why perpetrators are violent towards women would give us information towards designing effective programmes to reduce VAW in the future, by having a better understanding of how perpetrators of violence become perpetrators and how they remain perpetrators. Creating a dialogue with perpetrators and enabling them to have a dialogue and narrative for their acts of violence was thought to be an important element in the acknowledgment of responsibility for their actions. In addition to this, to truly facilitate change, it is necessary to engage with perpetrators to enable a recognition of the adverse consequences of their acts of violence, for themselves and others around them. Understanding their perspectives and experiences allows an understanding of the individual, social, cultural, and political pressures on such individuals.

Several key issues were made clear from the outset of this research study. Firstly, perpetrators were understood to be, according to Black’s Law Dictionary (2009), persons who commit a crime. The word ‘perpetrator’ denotes the person who actually commits a crime. The word ‘perpetrator’ differs from the widely used word ‘abuser’, the later of which is used in the literature. Normally a person can be addressed as a perpetrator when he or she is found or declared guilty of an offence or crime, especially by the verdict of the court. In the context of Bangladesh, the prevalence of VAW is widespread phenomena, but an individual cannot be legally recognised as a batterer or abuser as there are no proper records taken either at the government or nongovernmental level. So, for the purposes of this study, the researchers used the term ‘perpetrator’ for both those who were legally convicted as well as those who were not legally convicted but had the characteristic features of abusers given in the literature. Two of the most important concepts recognised in the literature on abuser are as follows:  Firstly, an abuser is a human being, not an evil monster, with profoundly complex and destructive problems that should not be underestimated. Secondly, an abuser’s behaviour is primarily conscious as he or she acts with intentionality rather than impulsively. However, it is also acknowledged that the underlying thinking that drives his or her behaviour is largely not conscious (Bancroft, 2002).  There is reason to believe that there are three critical characteristics of an abusive interaction. These are: that the abusers see an argument as war, that the partner is always wrong, and that there are likely to be range of control tactics (Bancroft, 2002).

From a psychological viewpoint, there is reason to believe that people make decisions about engaging in behaviour, violent or otherwise, according to their attitudes, beliefs and values (Ajzen, 1985). There is also research suggesting that deviant and conventional values (Korbin, 1951), poor emotional adjustment (Cassel, 1959), lack of affection from parents, parental punitiveness, and rejection (Begum and Begum, 1993) and a host of demographic variables such as sibling position, education, occupation, and ecology (Stephen, 1976; Nye,1958; Begum and Begum, 1993) are associated with aggression and violence. Given that people make decisions to behave in certain ways based on their beliefs and values, among other things, understanding the motivations of perpetrators is an important element of tackling their violent behaviour. Reeve (2001) postulates that motivation can be categorised into internal motives and external motives. Internal motives are those forces from within a person, i.e. thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, values and emotions. Internal motivation is also influenced by the needs of the individual. External motivations are circumstance and events which provide environmental incentives and consequences for behaviour. When behaviour has a positive incentive, it is more likely to be perpetuated.

In summary, by exploring and examining an individual’s beliefs, values and attitudes towards a particular behaviour that they are engaged in, in this case VAW, it is possible to make sense of what motivates and maintains their violent behaviour. However, as the various theories on VAW have illustrated, there are multiple reasons why individuals may engage in violent behaviour.

This study therefore set out to examine the experiences of perpetrators of VAW to gain an understanding of what motivates and maintains their violent behaviour, with a long term aim of developing interventions to reduce the incidence of VAW in Bangladesh.

  1. Aims and Objectives
  2. To explore the experiences of perpetrators who have engaged in acts of VAW.
  3.      To explore from the perpetrators’ perspectives, their own understanding of their violent behaviour towards women.
  4.      To explore the underlying causes of the development of violent behaviour of perpetrators.

Chapter 2

Research Design and Methodology

  1. Design of the Study

An exploratory, qualitative research design was employed to explore the experiences and motivations of individuals who had been convicted or accused of VAW, given the lack of relevant research in this area. As the focus of the project was on the perceptions and motivations of perpetrators based on their individual experiences, phenomenological theory was considered an appropriate epistemological basis for this research. Phenomenology is the process of knowing the individual experiences, which is defined as ‘that which appear real to the senses, regardless of whether their underlying existence is proved real or their nature understood’ (Morris, 1981). As such, this perspective was deemed an appropriate methodology to employ in this research as it focused on the participants’ potentially multiple perspectives of their own behaviour.

  1. Participant Sample

The participants of the study were selected on the basis of purposive sampling, which was deemed appropriate for the research methodology of this study on the basis that ‘purposive sampling strategies are designed to enhance understanding of selected individuals or groups’ experiences or for developing theories and concepts’ (Devers & Frankel, 2000). In the present research, perpetrators were defined as those who had perpetrated acts which could legally be defined as a violent, whether the perpetrator was legally convicted or not.

Inclusion Criteria: Participants were included in the study based on the research criteria as set out below:

Men (over the age of 18) who had committed legally defined acts of violence whether convicted or not; and which fell under either of the following categories:

Convicted persons who had committed an act of VAW as defined by the Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children Act- 2003 (for the purpose of this research this group was referred to as legally convicted perpetrators).

Perpetrators who had had a complaint of partner violence leveled against them by a local organisation and admitted to committing acts of violence against their intimate partners (for the purpose of this research this group was referred to as self-identified perpetrators).

Exclusion Criteria: Respondents were excluded if they were deemed to have  cognitive impairment or mental health problems that would cause hallucinations or a altered perception of reality (e.g. psychosis). This was assessed by the interviewers who were Clinical Psychologists, and ascertained from the clinical interviews whether the respondents could understand the interview questions.

Participants: A total of 47 cases were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria.  Of 47 cases, 12 of the conviction cases and 2 domestic violence cases did not provide enough relevant information regarding the research objectives, and were excluded from the analysis. The study therefore analysed 33 of the remaining cases. 20 of these cases were legally convicted perpetrators and 13 cases were self identified perpetrators.

Demographic Information: A basic demographic information form was developed to record the background history of all participants. It incorporated the variables such as age, sex, education, socioeconomic status, profession, birth history, childhood and developmental history, marital history, family history and significant others history. The demographic details of the 33 cases are documented in Appendix 1, and a summary of the demographics of the participant groups is described below:

Legally Convicted Perpetrators: Out of 20 convicted cases, 9 were convicted for rape, 3 were convicted for abduction cases, 2 cases were convicted for acid throwing and 1 was a trafficking case. The age range of this group was, age 20 – 50 years.  The range of convicted time these perpetrators were serving ranged from 7 years to life sentences. All the participants were married but 1. Out of the first 20 cases only one case came from higher socio-economic background, the rest were from lower socio-economic group and a few belonged to the lower middle class group. This group was mostly illiterate, with one case reporting graduate level of education, one had completed SSC level, one had completed HSE and a further 2 reported studying to 10th grade.

Self Identified Perpetrators: This group was comprised of men with an age range of 21-80 years old. Out of 13 of self identified perpetrators one had H.S.C, one had S.S.C, one studied till class nine, one studied till class seven, one till class five and two had madrasa education. The rest had very little education which was non-formal.  

  1. Data Collection

An semi-structured questionnaire was developed to determine the individual’s motivation and perception to perpetuate acts of violence. In addition, an in-depth unstructured interview design was employed to explore the attitudes, assumptions and life experiences of the perpetrators.

Semi-structured Questionnaire: A semi-structured questionnaire was developed through a comprehensive literature review and opinions from experts in the field. The questionnaire focused on major variables such as types of violence, description of the event, internal motives (physical need, cognitions, feelings, social needs), external motives, perceptions and perspectives on own personality characteristics. The research team developed the questionnaire keeping the major themes of motivation and perception in mind. They initially conducted a pilot study on two persons who had the history of violence using the questionnaire. After revising the questionnaire the research team sought expert’s feedback on whether the items were appropriate to explore motivation and perceptions.

Based on expert opinion and repeated editing by the research team the questionnaire was finalised (Appendix-4).

In-depth Interview:  The in-depth interview allowed the researcher the opportunity to engage the participants actively in the research process and collect data pertaining to individual’s experiences beyond the remit of the assumptions set out by the research protocol.  As such, the researchers were able to explore the participants’ feelings, opinions and thoughts through open ended, non-judgmental interactions. Active listening and empathetic reflection allowed the researchers to explore the sensitive issues relevant to the research. The in-depth face-to-face nature of the communication also enhanced the researchers’ capacity to highlight and elucidate participants’ nonverbal expressions of feelings and attitudes.

  1. Ethical Considerations

To ensure ethical guidelines were followed and maintained while carrying out the study, consent forms and research safety guidelines were developed.

An informed consent from (Appendix-2) was developed by the research team that outlined the research purpose, duration and the utility of the research for both the authority and for the participants. An ethical guideline was developed for the investigators (Appendix-5). The procedure was as follows: Firstly, informed consent was sought from the legal authorities. Informed consent was then taken from the individual participants prior to the interview with them and participants marked a consent form to document their consent. At this stage, participants were also given the opportunity to decline participation in the study. It was also made clear to the participants that they would not benefit directly from the research (in terms of their conviction and sentencing) but that their participation may have social benefits. As all the participants had a history of aggressive or violent behaviour, plans for safeguarding (Appendix-3) both the participants and the interviewers were put into place.

Confidentiality of the participants was strictly maintained. Each participant was assigned a code number, and the name corresponding to the code number was kept confidential. The participants were referred to by the assigned code number throughout the study.

  1. Study Settings

Participant interviews for the study took place in a separate room at the two districts level prisons of Bangladesh, in Rangpur and Faridpur. For interviews with self-identified perpetrators of domestic violence, Naripokkho communicated with a local level organisations in Jhenaidah, who works on domestic violence issues at the community level. This organisation was involved in the selection and recruitment of perpetrators of domestic violence. The participants were requested to come to the organisation’s office, and the interviews took place there in a private room.

  1. Procedure

Naripokkho made a list of perpetrators who had been convicted under the Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children Act, 2003, with the help of relevant court and prison authorities. Naripokkho then submitted the list with a proposal of the research to prison and court officials. Concurrently to this, recruitment of interviewers took place, from a pool of clinical psychologists and trainee clinical psychologists. The recruited interviewers underwent training on qualitative data collection and data management procedures.

The duration of the interview sessions were a minimum 1 hour to a maximum 3 hours per session and consisted of 3 to 7 sessions for each participant. Two interviewers jointly conducted the interviews, where one directly initiated the interview and the other one recorded the conversation. Immediately after the interview, interviewers started writing verbatim and both checked if there was any data missing. Senior researchers also conducted interview sessions and supervised the assistant interviewer’s activities. If after 3 sessions information was not useful or forthcoming, the interview process for that participant was terminated.

To verify the credibility of the information from the interviewers an attempt was made to gather information regarding the participants from their family and close community members. For 20 cases (10 convicted and 10 domestic violence cases), who provided sufficient information the research objectives, additional information about their past was collected from their residence and communities.

In addition, while conducting the interviews it was also found that some of the convicted perpetrators alleged that they were wrongly convicted. To get insight about the legal system of Bangladesh the research team therefore also collected legal documents from the court. This information is incorporated in the discussion, conclusion and recommendations section.

  1. Data Analysis

Qualitative data was collected by written note-taking instead of audio recording. The interviewers transcribed the raw notes immediately after completing the interview sessions. The data was transcribed in the participants’ linguistic form as accurately as possible in order to conduct the qualitative data analysis. Data was analysed using the transcripts, information gathered from the participants’ surroundings and the researchers’ observations report of the participants’ nonverbal expressions. Qualitative data analysis is a systematic process of organising and displaying the data to form ideas from interview transcripts and other accumulate materials (Fraenkle & Wallen, 2000). The whole research team participated in the interpretation of data. The transcript was reviewed keenly and systematically for better understanding and to figure out the actual meaning of the participants’ responses. It was done individually by each researcher and later was re-reviewed by other researchers. 

The data was manually analysed by finding repeated themes, phrases or concepts (Frankle & Wallen, 2000). The transcripts were annotated with the initial ideas and thoughts of the researcher which had developed through the interview and    subsequent re-reading of the transcripts. Emerging themes and concepts were then identified and coded.  The emerging themes across the interviews were then connected together and integrated to create subthemes according to their relationship with each other. Superordinate or master themes were then developed based on the subthemes that captured the participants’ experiences and perceptions of VAW. The final summary was then made based on the recurring ideas, perceptions and logical relation of other variables that linked the individual and his social context.

  1. Limitations

The study design was a qualitative study from which it is not possible to generalise for the entire population, nor can it show cause and effect of any phenomenon. Quantitative and longitudinal studies can be developed from this research to yield such results. There was also the potential for researcher bias in the interviews, as the researchers were part of a known feminist organisation and as such, participants may have felt a pressure to answer questions in a particular that did not necessarily reflect their true beliefs. As the area of research was new to Bangladesh, and due to constraints on resources and a lack of access to similar research conducted elsewhere, the design and direction of the research was developed with little help from established protocols, and hence much time went into deliberation of the methodology design, training, analysis and so on. Due to limited resources and time, a comprehensive literature research on all the published material in this area may not have been covered. In addition, all of the data could not be analysed for this initial report, due to the vast amount of primary data generated.  The time frame of this research took longer than anticipated, due to institutional formalities required to conduct the study.

Chapter 3


This study set out to explore the beliefs and attitudes that motivate individuals to perpetuate acts of VAW. A phenomenological analysis of the data revealed three major themes, each of which were divided into subthemes. The themes and subthemes are outlined in the table below:

  1. Location of Responsibility

A major theme that arose from analysis of the data was that the participants in the research study appeared to place the responsibility for their violent acts in the ‘other’ (e.g. women, society, parents). Alongside the distancing of the participants from their interpersonal responsibilities, it also seemed that this was potentially related to the participants’ difficulties in experiencing or tolerating difficult feelings in themselves (e.g. anger, betrayal, frustration). Taken in the context of the individual within a society, this also appeared to be related to an overall sense of powerlessness that was managed through oppressing the ‘other’ (in this case women) to regain a feeling of power.

A.i Delegation of Personal Responsibility of Violent Behaviour

Most of the perpetrators felt that men have a right to be angry as they do the “hard work” (which presumably meant they were the bread winners) and as such women should show “patience.”  There also appeared to be a narrative that women also had the capability to “correct a derailed man with her love and care” and as such “It is a woman’s responsibility to correct a man.” This  illustrates that these participants perceived that the responsibility for their violent behaviour lay not in themselves, but in women. It alludes to the moving of moral responsibility for self regulation from the individual perpetrator to the ‘other’, in this case the woman. One participant commented that men commit crimes because “people don’t think about the consequence of their behaviours.” This indicates, according to the participant, that without consequences, perpetrators of VAW would continue to avoid responsibility for their actions. This perspective was supported by another participant commenting that “if the person believes that there is nothing wrong with his behaviour he may continue to commit crimes.” In addition this view also suggests a lack of value placed on women in their culture and communities.

Some participant’s extended these denials of responsibility to sexuality and sexual violence (e.g. rape). There appeared to be a belief that women were responsible for the acts of sexual violence towards them, as the following remarks illustrate; “Rape is not the fault of men. Women do not behave properly. Men are then forced to cause an incident of rape,” and, “women are raped if they go out at all hours.” This was qualified by the explanation from another participant who stated that “women inspire men to commit sexual violence by the way they dress up and those who are physically attractive are more likely to be subjected to sexual violence.” Some participants emphasised the fact that women in general could not be trusted and were the instigators of violence towards them; “women should be blamed as they are the ones who tempt and manipulate the men to do violence” and, “There are some bad women in society that want to harm men. They can harm good men at any time, and then these men follow anything a woman tell them to do.” Another’s observation of why a woman was raped was that “this woman was characterless; she has a history.” Violence could be committed due to what women wear; “if women do not cover themselves properly they attract men and if girls go out in parties they might get raped,” and “many girls put their orna on one side but not the other. Men are attracted to them and look at them in a bad way.” Another said, “Love these days means physical intercourse, women are responsible for this.” As before, the responsibility for women protecting themselves from the violent behaviour of men appeared to fall on the women themselves, because “a girl can and should try to avoid such [attractive dress etc] behaviour that might increase the risk of her being exposed in the situation where she can be in danger, for example not to go out at night, avoid mixing with boys… .” According to one perpetrator “wearing veil was also very important for all women, if they don’t they are then subjected to violence,” and another opined that, “those that do not cover themselves are bad women.” Interestingly, conversely one participant even blamed women for his sexual urges even when they did cover themselves, “Veiling is 100% like tamarind- it invites your curiosity and awakens your appetite.” Another said, “If someone enters into a relationship with the objective of getting married then I believe she will not be raped,” underscoring again, the belief that responsibility of the rape lay with the woman. The feeling of indignation among the perpetrators that “Women behave in such a way and give signals asking to be raped. Then the person who is enticed into committing the rape is blamed!” seemed to be a common one.  One participant also commented that “I will wed away my daughter at the age of 7 to 15 otherwise she will get involved in unwanted matters” and another, “A girl should be married at 15 years as soon as she is mature. If she is not married till 20 then she will become sexually active,” indicating issues of social control of women’s sexuality through marriage and also possibly the transmission of such beliefs and social narratives to the next generation. There seemed to be little social acceptance of sexual freedom of women, and confused thoughts with regards to the difference between sexuality to be enjoyed by women, and sexual violence towards them.

For crimes such as acid throwing there was a similar delegation of responsibility to the ‘other’; “Those who are attractive, and wear bright clothes and lipstick. They walk in an upright different way. These types of attractive women are those that experience acid attacks.”

In addition to this, there was also a sense that the perpetrators were also delegating responsibility of their actions to parents; “It is the parents of the abuser to blame.” 9 out of 33 perpetrators perceived parenting style as the root of violence. It is worth noting that participants felt that if parents were able to ‘control’ their children, they would not engage in violent behaviour. Parallel to this, some participants delegated the responsibility of their action to ‘society’; one participant commented that “Society allows sexual offence.” Some of the participants mentioned that the scope of free interaction between boys and girls allowed for sexual offences to take place, with 10 out of 33 perpetrators commenting that when the different sexes spend time together they indulge in sex among themselves thus sexual violence is more likely to take place.  

Helplessness: Concurrent to the concept of delegating self responsibility, many of the perpetrators mentioned a “kind of helpless feeling” when it came to the question of controlling anger or angry outbursts. One of the perpetrators mentioned that “poverty and stress” leads to angry outbursts and then he “feels helpless to understand how to deal with the situation.” Another perpetrator commented that he often fails to control himself and becomes violent. One of the perpetrators said he realised beating his wife would not help to bring the change he expected but still out of rage and anger he often beat his wife; “In fact I immediately realised that beating is not a solution but it happened because of my anger. That happened only once.” This shows that an awareness of the futility of the action did not affect a change in behaviour, and that there was perhaps a helplessness in finding another method of coping. Helplessness regarding managing social and environmental inequalities was also a factor in their violent behaviour. Participants commented on the corrupt system in which they exist and this was exacerbated by the existence of temptations such as alcohol, drugs or prostitution. It appeared that participants could be alluding to ‘escapism’ through these, as a method of coping with the feeling of helplessness.

A.ii  Defence Against Intolerable Feelings

Another major theme which emerged from the data is that the participants appeared to struggle with managing or making sense of difficult and uncomfortable feelings (i.e. anger, betrayal, emotional negligence). It appeared that to manage such feelings, perpetrators engaged in violent behaviour which was perceived as an effective and acceptable method of getting rid of bad feelings. It was also thought to be the ‘masculine’ way of dealing with these difficult feelings. Illustrating this, one perpetrator explained that he was always “bad tempered, aggressive and quarrelsome” as a child and added that by “only hitting someone would reduce his anger.” One participant felt that “when my heartbeat goes up then unless I beat her my heart rate does not come down,” and another expressed similar feelings, “Unless I beat my wife my anger does not come down and I can’t show my manliness.” Another participant talked of dealing with

his feelings of anger, “Then my body was burning. I felt that even if I killed her my anger would not be satisfied. I felt like finishing her off,” and another said, “When I used to get angry I would beat her till my anger came down.”

Not all the blame for sexual urges was shifted to the woman. In fact there was a perception among some of the perpetrators that sexual urges within a man could not be controlled and needed to be met. There was a difficulty in dealing with and containing the men’s own sexual urges, “It is natural for a man to be full blooded. They become aroused… . That is when I find a woman and want to have sex.”

Displacement of Intolerable Feelings: Out of 33 participants, 9 acknowledged that they display extreme anger reactions, like beating their wives or others while they feel angry. As the majority of anger in spousal violence is analysed in this study as being a theme arising from a dominant discourse of patriarchy, it will be dealt in more detail with later in this chapter. However, within this theme of delegating responsibility, taking revenge against apparent betrayal was highlighted by the participants as a legitimate method of coping. This illustrates another manifestation how the participants felt unable to process or manage painful emotional feelings.    

Rejection, Betrayal and Revenge: “Men must not accept rejection” is a comment by one participant which encapsulates the attitudes and beliefs underpinning this theme. Such beliefs also appear to be reinforced by society and the perpetrators’ social group. This is illustrated by one participant’s comment that “My friends encouraged me to take revenge upon her,” and was an opinion held by 5 of the 33 perpetrators. The idea that men are ‘unable’ to tolerate rejection and thus it is a natural consequence that they would become revengeful and engage in violent behaviour towards women was an opinion held by many of the study participants. 6 out of 33 perpetrators said their anger is triggered when rejected by someone. Many perpetrators held the belief that if men were rejected by girls/women it was justifiable to throw acid on them or physically torture them. One of them said, “I hated being betrayed and thus tried to harm her and now both of our lives are destroyed.” Another participant commented that he “cannot tolerate any rejection or emotional negligence” and “when emotionally rejected he could do any kind of violence.” This particular person was convicted for acid throwing. According to another participant, “Those who refuse a man’s advances are attacked. If a man is refused he is hurt. He wants to give her a lesson for not listening to him or agreeing to his proposal. Those who are pretty are attacked by acid” and another stated that, “if a man hears that his lover is having an affair with another man then it is natural for him to lose his head and then he can throw acid at her.” Yet another participant commented, “My friend was a very good person. The day before the girl was to get married she met him. They talked but she did not tell him she was getting married the next day. My friend was very hurt. He got very angry. And you must understand what a man’s anger is. When he is angry he can do anything. He threw acid on her.” Another said, “Girls go around in an irresponsible manner. They flirt with a boy but do not marry him. Then the boy throws acid out of anguish,” and yet another, “It was because of anger. She got married and he would not be able to have her. So he did not want anyone else to have her. He was spoilt so he wanted her life to be spoilt. That is why he threw acid on her.”

Other participants also commented that they had “difficulty in accepting rejection” and another spoke of angry outbursts because he was “refused” when he proposed to a girl. These comments illustrate the common belief that men cannot take rejection, and that VAW is a natural consequence of their inability to take rejection and betrayal.

Some participants commented that they were “deprived of parental affection” in their childhood and appeared to feel that this was a reason that they found feelings of emotional negligence or rejection too difficult to cope with.  7 of the 33 participants felt that they experienced “punishing” childhoods, where either their father or other caregiver would “beat them brutally.” Physical punishment and emotional deprivation appeared to be a common phenomenon in the family experiences of these perpetrators.

A.iii  Power/Powerlessness

As the participants reflected on their experiences of violence and discussed the factors that may be at play, the theme of losing and gaining power arose. Within this theme two subthemes of the effect of social inequality (i.e., poverty, frustration and financial pressure) and getting needs met were highlighted. In situations of power, they could get away with more violence, “If I beat up other people they will take revenge, and take legal action against me. If I beat up my family members then there is no problem,” indicating his position of power within the family meant there were no repercussions or consequences to violent behaviour.

Social Inequality: Some of the perpetrators felt that violence awarded them a sense of power, and one participant’s comment exemplifies this feeling:  “it is the thought of gaining power and control over others that encourages people to commit such [violent] crimes.” Some of the participants felt that social inequality and poverty were significant motivators for violent behaviour, commenting that “I cannot fulfill my family’s basic needs and become frustrated and violent towards family members when they demand anything even at a minimal level.” The knowledge of their poverty was also cited by some of the participants as a significant stress factor, and it was during such stresses that they were more likely to engage in violent behaviour towards women, “If I had employment I would not have had bad ideas and thoughts.”

More practically, acquiring or losing money was another important factor involved in engaging in violent behaviour towards women. Money was perceived to be a method of being powerful, “Everyone wants to be superior in the society, even a mother for example wants money from her child.” and this point is echoed by another participant, “You must understand that the economic situation of everyone in the village is not the same. Some people like to harm other people. Those who are worse off cannot stand those who are better off.” Perpetrators of domestic violence commented that they often sought dowry from their wives and in-laws to address their need for money and thereby gain power.  From the participants’ accounts, it appears that failure to secure a dowry is more likely to result in violence towards women. One of the perpetrators commented that he beat his wife in order to get a dowry from her in-laws, “If a girl is beaten her father’s heart becomes soft; when his heart is in this soft condition, then he would pay me money.” Some perpetrators noted that if the girl’s family indicate an ability to pay a dowry then there is more potential for the girl to be tortured in the event of nonpayment, illustrated by the comment: “Her family breached the promise for dowry, so she must be punished.”

Some participants were able to recognise that there was a link between their lack of power, need for money to compensate for this powerlessness and violent behaviour as a consequence of their failed attempt to gain dowry.  Interestingly, some participants commented that where dowry causes difficulty for women who are being subjected to the violence, often the pressure to get the money for the dowry was initiated by another women (e.g. mother-in-law), “If I have to spend 40,000 taka to get my sister married, even if I don’t want the money my mother will want to take money when I get married.”

The effect of social inequality for women in this society was also recognised; “Poor women are subjected to violence” commented one of the participants. Some of the perpetrators noted that “poor girls have no control on their life situation and they don’t have any power so they suffer.” Another perpetrator recognised that poor families are unlikely to be able to afford an acceptable dowry, thereby ‘forcing’ their daughters to “work outside” thus increasing the risk of being subjected to violence. 

Getting Needs Met through Anger/Violence: Related to the above subtheme was that of how, through aggression and violence, participants appeared to be attempting to meet their needs. One participant commented that he was always manipulative when he wished to achieve his own goals, and as such, ended up as perpetrator. Five of the participants

expressed a belief that people commit violent acts for personal gains. Participants also commented that through dominating others with anger, rape or violent acts they gain a feeling of control and this make them feel more powerful. One of the perpetrators explained, “Those who want to be superior in society do the violence over others easily.”

  1. Male Superiority

The second major theme that arose from the data was the overt and covert references to the perceived superiority of men over women. Within this, participants expressed a belief of their need to assert authority through violence. Women’s sexuality also appeared to be mostly viewed as an uncontrolled physical need of women, which the participants appeared to view as a deliberate temptation to men. 

B.i  Need to Assert Superiority

“My wife is my property, I can do whatever with her.”

“Women are slaves of their husbands and they come to their in-laws house to serve others, so they should tolerate any behaviour towards them.”

“Her brothers would beat her, and I would beat her.”

“Women are men’s servants. They have to listen to their orders.”

These comments illustrate the opinions and beliefs on male ownership over women expressed by many of the participants. Many participants also commented that “men like to change their partners just the way they want to change their cars” suggesting a transient attitude to relationships and a lack of commitment to the monogamous nature of marriage. One participant observed “She is my property so I can do anything to her, she won’t go anywhere leaving me.” This comment illustrates the beliefs held by the participants regarding the inferiority of women and also a recognition of how powerless women can be in a patriarchal society.

Alongside this was the belief that given the inferiority of women, it was the man’s job to control and manage any “disobedience,” by their wives illustrated by the comments, “A disobedient wife deserves beating”, and “Now I have a legal wife, if she makes any mistakes then I give her a few slaps. Disciplining her is my responsibility.” This was echoed by another husband who commented, “Then I thought she should be punished so that she would not do such things in the future,” and another who said, “If I beat my wife she will not go out of line.” The statement, “It is the husband’s duty to control his wife by any means,” illustrates yet again the attitudes of many of the participants, with some mentioning that if a husband cannot control his wife through violence it becomes a matter of disgrace for him in his community, as does the opinion, “If the wife is too strong that household is not good. People will say that the man listens to his wife too much.” One participant recognised that while he was violent towards his wife in order to control and discipline her, he also recognised that the violence destroyed the relationship. Overall most participants held the belief that “those who do not listen to their husband are bad women.”

 The beliefs and attitudes of a majority of the participants is summarised in the comment of one participant who explained that “women who do not listen to their husbands are more likely to be subjected to violence” suggesting that any personal opinions or deviance from the wishes of husbands could incur violence. It was justifiable to use violence to correct “stubbornness.” The comment, “Women must be beaten for irresponsibility and inefficiency” suggests that lack of certain skills would also incur violence and is illustrative of the attitudes held by many of the participants, such as, “I told my wife to give me rice. When she delayed then I got angry.”

A high proportion of the participants expressed ‘hatred’ towards women in general. “I hate women, they must be punished” suggesting that it not necessarily the particular women they are married to that they hate and are therefore abusive towards, but rather the negative attributes of some women are generalised to all, or assumed to be present in any

woman. This can cause conflict; one participant said he hated women yet women are the race of mothers so he follows what they ask him to do. He appeared to rationalise this conflict by the belief that “Women are the best actors in the world.” Another participant echoed his mistrust of women, “a man cannot spoil a woman but if a woman wants she can spoil ten men.”

Some perpetrators felt that women should cover themselves properly and moreover, since they are more risky given their urges and the risks inherent in their ability to make their own decisions, some felt that, “women should be in captivity.” One participant mentioned that he did not like his wife speaking to other men, and had strict rules about this. Most participants believed that “a girl should not have any autonomy when it came to decision-making especially if she is unmarried.” They also expressed, in contrast to this, men are free from such obligations and they can do as they wish as they are able to take care of themselves while women are not. However interestingly, while being expected to conform and obey, women were expected to be responsible for the well-being of the entire family, as illustrated by the remark from one participant that, “a woman should be calm and cool as the whole family depends on them.”

B.ii Perception that Women are Source of Sexual Urges

“Women’s appearance and dress-up bring about for sexual intimacy.” This comment illustrates that while women are considered inferior they are also responsible for sexual temptation. Many of the participants commented that women entice men into committing sexual crimes against women. One of the participants illustrates this attitude by commenting that “It is the women who spoil the life of men through their sensual expression.” According to him, women attract men through uncovering themselves, which help men to perceive a woman as a sexual object; “a girl is completely responsible for rape. If she wears a burkha up to her feet then boys would not be attracted.” Another mentioned “A man is bound to be attracted if he sees a woman wearing a garment with a neck which is open to her

breasts.” This apparent delegation of responsibility to a woman for controlling men’s behaviour appeared to be stronger with regards to sexuality. Some of the participants expressed that any physical relationship is mutually consenting as there would have to be previous intimacy for it to occur. Given this argument, many men appeared to feel that rape could not take place (non-consenting sexual relations) as the women had ‘allowed’ the man some contact with her. It appeared unclear what nature of interaction this needed to be; “Rape does not happen without the girl’s consent. The man proceeds based on how he perceives the girl’s willingness.” Some statements indicated that it could be just being available, “My body was demanding and I had to find her. I found out where she was and what she was doing. She had few restrictions on mixing and going out.” Some participants felt that rape took place because “The parents will be bound to wed away their daughter to the man who raped her.” One perpetrator said although most of the cases are filed as abduction cases the interaction actually takes place on the basis of mutual understanding of the boy and the girl. Female desire was recognised by a proportion of the participants. Based on this the following assumption was made “Women also have physical need but they cannot go to the brothels and thus when they come in close contact with men they might have sex with them” as oppose to any indication of control being exercised by either sex when it came to sexuality. 

  1. Perpetrator Perceptions

C.i  Society, Family and Education

There were several themes which arose from participants opinions of what should be considered when addressing the incidence of VAW in society.

The dominant narrative of the superiority of men in society was responsible to a great extent for VAW, and participants felt that this social attitude should be changed. Family environment was also considered to have a role in the development and maintenance of patriarchal values and

beliefs. The education system was also thought to hold some responsibility or a role in challenging the dominant patriarchal narratives. In addition to this, both the family and school environment were thought by the participants as being the areas where ‘good’ moral and social values could be conveyed regarding engendering an awareness of healthy and respectful interactions between men and women. The ‘mixing’ of the sexes early in life appeared to be a concern of the participants. It was felt that when young people became romantically involved they appear to lose sight of their family prestige, responsibilities and social norms.

C.ii  Early Experiences and Personal Skills

Participants recognised that family environment and early life experiences play a key role in the development of their values and beliefs about women that leads to acts of violence. Some participants reported the love and care from their family members as important, however some felt that they had been over protected and were unable to develop a range of experiences that presumably would have enabled them to relate to differences within society. Some felt that disrupted early family experiences (e.g., violence between own parents, parent remarriage) engendered aggressive behaviour and attitudes within them. Chaotic parental relationships or parental discord were present in almost all of the participants’ family. Some of them reported that they learnt the belief that “You are not a man if you do not beat your wife” from their family and surroundings. One participant said that he had seen that his uncle and elder brother physically punishing their wives. Another participant felt that the history of domestic violence he had experienced was a major factor behind has use of violence in his adult life. Another commonality found among many of the participants was that they had been exposed to extreme violence within their community as a method of addressing interpersonal conflicts (e.g. quarrel for cutting crops or trees, dispute on conflicted issues, dowry etc.) in their early life.

Some participants felt that it would be beneficial to have some anger management/control skills. Most of the participants who had engaged in domestic violence recognised that mutual understanding, trustworthiness and a sense of responsibility were values that were important to engender in a marriage to reduce of domestic violence, with all the participants expressing that family unity, togetherness, caring and a loving attitude can prevent violence.

C.iii  Social Systems and Issues

Socio-economic Status and Inequalities: Poverty was another factor reported by 4 out of 33 of the participants as a contributing factor to the frustration and anger that resulted in violent behaviour. Poverty was thought to cause frustration and stress, and affected relationships within the family through conflict; this conflict was experienced by the participants both in their own early family experiences and also in the current families. Poverty and unemployment was felt by the participants to lead the younger members of the population to engage in violent behaviour. This often was felt to be a result of there being a lack of meaningful and productive work available, and thus young people became engaged in undesirable behaviour like substance abuse, aggression and sexual assault. Dowry conflicts were also understood as being a symptom of poverty, as issues arising from power relations, lack of resources and frustration due to lack of money, often provoked violence when dowry payments were not forthcoming. Participants felt that the Government should take an initiative to combat dowry issues.

Drug and Substance Availability: The availability of drugs and alcohol were deemed as another important influence on violent behaviour in society. One participant mentioned, “My elders told me not to mix with alcoholics and drug addicts. If I had listened to them I would not have had a court case.” Participants felt that there should be measures taken to reduce drug use in the context of violent behaviour towards women.

Justice System: The participants felt that effective strong legal measures should be put in place for acts of VAW as a deterrent. However there was widespread distrust in the system, “Judges and journalists are not accountable to anyone. They write their judgments and their reports as they please,” said one participant. Almost all the convicted participants mentioned that a lack of proper investigation into the violent act was a clear problem in the legal system. They also mentioned the presence of corruption in police system, where a bribe is often given and accepted to change police reports of violent acts against women; “Those who have no contacts or money and can’t give police bribes, they have to go to jail. There are others who commit rape but because of the strength of their money they go free and are not punished.” The role of poverty was highlighted here, as according to participants, those with money are able to bribe officials to change court reports in their favour. One participant suggested that magistrates should be involved in the investigation process as the police are not reliable. Another suggestion was that local leaders should be given responsibility to prevent illegal acts through social communication.

There was also a strong sense that facing all the injustices present in the criminal justice system often made convicted perpetrators become more violent and aggressive. Of those convicted many said they experienced frustration and felt that after their time in jail they were more likely to carry out further violent acts when released.

Chapter 4


This study explored the perpetrators’ experiences and perceptions of VAW. The analysis yielded three major themes arising from a qualitative analysis of semi-structured and unstructured interviews. The findings will be discussed in the context of current theories and research.

The first major theme that arose was that the participants appeared to locate the responsibility for their violent behaviour in the ‘other’, which was understood to be either women, social inequality or parenting. This suggests the prevalence of the interpersonal and intrapersonal ‘women blaming’ narratives, which prohibits the acknowledgment of personal responsibility in male violent behaviour. Participants felt that women were to blame for the violence as they needed to be controlled, which is also supported by feminist theories of male dominance (McPhail, et al 2007). Within this theme participants also expressed that their violence was often a reaction to negative feelings. Inability to cope with these strong emotions resulted in many perpetrators committing violent acts of ‘revenge’ after a perceived ‘betrayal’ or ‘rejection’ by a woman. This finding could be explained by theories of male pathology, (Dutton, 2005) which postulate difficult attachment styles in abusive men. Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) emphasises the importance of a consistent and emotionally containing early relationship between the infant and the caregiver/s in setting the tone for the patterns of relating to others and self in adult life. Failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behaviour in later childhood and throughout life.  The attachment behaviour system is an important concept in attachment theory because it provides the conceptual linkage between ethnological models of human development and modern theories on emotion regulation and personality (Bowlby, 1969). This suggests that insecure, anxious or avoidant attachment styles can result in difficulties in regulating intense emotions such as fear, sadness, anxiety and rage, which is congruent with the findings of this research. Participants expressed a sense of powerlessness in their social and economic situations that influenced their propensity to engage in violent behaviour. This finding is congruent with theories of the male pathologies approach to VAW where issues such as poverty, corruption and unemployment for example engender a feeling of powerlessness (Holtzworth-Munroe et al 1997). The exercising of violence towards a ‘woman’, who is a ‘hated object’ in their eyes, may be an attempt by these men to regain the power that they lose through socioeconomic circumstances, which would also be congruent with ‘women blaming’ theories of displacement or transference of feelings to the ‘other’ or, this case, the woman. The second major theme that arose from the analysis was, unsurprisingly, male superiority. This is congruent to the many feminist theories regarding violence as a consequence of male oppression of women within a patriarchal system (Dobash & Dobash, 1979, McPhail et al. 2007). The participants expressed their need to assert their authority over the women in their life because women were viewed as property, or inferior. Such opinions appeared to be the result of the patriarchal system, and also to be congruent to the generational cycle of violence (Bandura, 1973) with some participants acknowledging that this was how they had experienced the marriage of their own parents.

Some participants also expressed the opinion that women were the source of sexual urges and therefore were to be blamed for sexual assaults; this perception can be explained by the displacement of negative and shameful feelings onto the other. It also suggests a lack of knowledge and understanding of sexuality, and a lack of ability to talk and deal with such feelings in a healthy way.  In the area of sexuality the views were also contradictory.  While women were blamed as being the instigators of sexual interactions and sexual violence, it was also acknowledged that men have sexual desires that often needed to be met, and which were not expected to be controlled by the men themselves. 

It is interesting to note that the participants held incongruent beliefs and values about women. While on the one hand women were perceived as weak and inferior, i.e., to be controlled, they were also vilified for not using their power to morally control and monitor the men in society. Such narratives appear to be social and cultural in origin and interventions would need to target change on a societal level.

Lastly, the participants were asked to comment on what they thought were main factors to be addressed when combating VAW. Participants recognised the role of family and education in regulating antisocial behaviour. They were also able to recognise that change would have to occur on a social level, as they felt they were voicing the narratives about women and violence which are currently prevalent in Bangladesh society. When the perpetrators were asked why they thought violence occurred and what would be needed to stop they appeared to have an insight into the forces at play. This could have been because they were given the space to reflect and think about the reasons for their behaviour and that of others, and could articulate what they really thought caused and would change behaviour. Alternatively they could have been saying what they felt the interviewers wanted to hear. The participants appeared to put a particular emphasis on the role of family, and many commented on how they had witnessed domestic violence between their own family members, and had grown up with the message that to be a man you need to hit your wife. This again is in line with the generational cycle of violence theories. Social issues such as substance and alcohol abuse were also cited by the participants as being influencing factors, a point which is recognised in the current literature (Horley, 2002).

The participants also emphasised the inadequacy and failure of the criminal justice system. They felt it did not play the role of a positive intervening agency, and did not act as, a deterrent or a rehabilitative force.

Chapter 5


In light of the findings of this research, there are some future directions to consider.

Firstly, it appears from the research findings and previous research and theory, that VAW is an individual, interpersonal and societal issue. The participants in this study expressed beliefs and values about the role of women in society and what they perceived as the functional role played by violence in managing women. While such beliefs are difficult to relate to for many people, nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge the internal validity of these accounts in thinking about how to address the issue of violence. Change is predicted by motivation, and motivation to change is likely to be engendered by engaging those men in interventions that will challenge existing beliefs about attributing and locating the responsibility for violent behaviour. Research shows that denial that there is a problem with violence, beliefs that violence is acceptable, unwillingness to attend therapeutic interventions and avoidance of responsibility for violence are challenges that are an acknowledged part of VAW interventions (Brennan, 1985, Gondolf 1987, Jenkins, 1993). It is not unsurprising therefore that men who are abusive have been viewed as ‘resistant’ or unsuitable for therapy; and legal, societal and victim interventions have been targeted as more efficacious. This study provides some evidence to suggest that the phenomenon is located in the individual and highlights the importance of targeting the barriers in accessing perpetrators of violence for individual therapeutic work. Working with perpetrators of violence is imperative to acknowledge and target the location of responsibility and cause of the violent behaviour.

There is some research which suggests that an important first step may be to increase men’s accurate perceptions of women using the social norms approach (Fabiano et al. N.d.). The social norms approach, which challenges normative beliefs, could serve to empower men to be stronger social justice allies of women by fostering interventions against the problematic behaviours of other men. It is possible that in a patriarchal society such as Bangladesh, men challenging other men about their beliefs about women and the role of violence may serve to engage the perpetrators initially, with a view to becoming involved in more standard therapeutic interventions once engagement has been established.

There are interventions that have proved efficacious in other countries that may be applicable in Bangladesh.

The following are possible areas of intervention, and future directions of activist and community action, and research:

*  An Effective Social Welfare and Mental Health System

The findings suggest that violence was a response learnt by some of the participants from their own early family experiences. It would seem that there is a need for providing services to the community to help form a healthy family system. The government social welfare services could be updated to provide this service. The health care system could also incorporate a comprehensive mental health care system, which could include mental health services to cater to a range of mental health issues, at all levels of the government health service system.

Early welfare/mental health care interventions could seek to help address difficulties faced by children in accepting and processing difficult feelings, and could also include parenting programmes to enable parents to gain the skills and knowledge which enable to them to engage in healthy parenting practices. This could include early interventions to teach parents and other primary child care givers of how to

best nurture and bring up children in the first few years of life. These initiatives could help families teach children helpful ways to deal with difficult feelings and destructive attitudes, so that these emotions are not processed in ways that result in them denying responsibility of their actions, or blaming  or rejecting ‘the other’, or by seeking revenge. It can also help the child or adolescent to address feelings of powerless, which may be expressed as violent behaviour to fulfill their needs later in life, and could enable the family to develop healthy ways to communicate and appropriately deal with negative feelings. The idea would be try to stop the formation of perpetrators by such interventions. These programmes could be part of the follow-up by health care workers/social workers with families, as part of the comprehensive health programme by the health care system (which would include monitoring of health of the family, including the mental health of the family, immunisation, family planning, safe motherhood etc.). These could be done by family welfare attendants which could include referral services to social workers and/or clinical psychologists (which need to be trained, recruited and be incorporated into the health system). It may also important to run programmes targeting young people before they are married to encourage healthy communication and respect. There could be a helpline and referral system linked to a mental health support structure for those having difficulties in coping with various types of situations.

* School Education Programmes

Education about gender and violence may need to begin at school at a very young age, through creating awareness and challenging current dominant patriarchal narratives. Children and adolescents can be taught various life skills at school to increase self confidence, ensure healthy processing of difficult feelings, enable healthy ways of communicating and dealing with difficult situations and so on. More research needs to be undertaken to explore early childhood socialisation, gender roles and attitudes.

* Programmes which Enable Management of Emotions Like Anger

The present study findings revealed that when a person is faced with aversive circumstances (e.g. confrontation with family members or experiences that elicit a feeling of powerlessness), the difficult feelings experienced, e.g. anger, anxiety, are often managed or reduced by acts of violence. This release or reduction of difficult feelings result in the individual feeling temporarily ‘better’ and therefore acts as a reinforcer of future situations when difficult feelings are elicited again. The anger or other difficult feelings that are experienced by the individual are likely to be a result of the factors discussed previously, e.g. poverty, social inequality, incidences in childhood, personal feelings of inadequacy etc. As such, violent acts against ‘the other’ are likely to have only a temporary effect of the reduction in such feelings. This unhelpful cycle of feelings, thoughts (cognitions) and behaviours is illustrated in the cognitive behavioural model of anger below:

As the diagram Figure 1 illustrates, the feelings that come up when facing certain situations come hand in hand with a physical reaction. The choice to behave and react violently after having these feelings and physical reaction is often further encouraged by a thought process which encourages the action (i.e. the cognition that, “It is my duty to control my wife” and “It is acceptable to hit women.”).

Anger management programmes which try and break this cycle of violence have been found to be an effective psychological treatment for violent men (Howells et al., 2002). These programmes focus on reducing the level of anger arousal and the control of angry responses by using different techniques, such as relaxation training, social skills training and cognitive restructuring, which involve challenging unhelpful assumptions and beliefs (e.g. challenging the belief that women deserve to be hit if they do not perform certain functions). With regards to this study, it became clear that some participants would be open to receiving help in managing their anger and violence. 

*  Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Perpetrators

The most common approaches in other countries to batterer interventions are psycho-educational group programmes based on both cognitive-behavioural and pro-feminist theory. Almost all incorporate a focus on the power and control issues that are viewed as core elements in abusive relationships (e.g. Decker, 1999; Geffner & Mantooth, 2000; Mathews, 1995; Pence & Paymar, 1993; Sonkin & Durphy, 1997). The clinical goals of treatment are to enable men to recognise and accept responsibility for their abusiveness, and to develop control over and to reduce the frequency of such behaviour. There could be piloting of approaches being used in other countries, as well as assessment of current interventions being done in Bangladesh.

In 1981, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project was the first multi-disciplinary programme designed to work with issues of domestic violence. An experiment that took place in Duluth, Minnosota, USA,  involved coordinating the actions of a variety of agencies that deal with domestic situations. The programme has become a model for the judicial system in different countries to deal more effectively with domestic violence. According to the Duluth Model, ‘women and children, and some men are vulnerable to violence because of their unequal social, economic, and political status in society.’  This could be

worth piloting in Bangladesh as the Duluth model integrates cognitive-behavioural content into its approach (Pence & Paymar, 1993) and there are clinical psychologists in Bangladesh who are training to work under the conceptual framework of cognitive-behaviour therapy (Beck, 1964).

* Awareness Raising to Counter Pejorative Beliefs about Women

Psycho-educational programmes are those in which the focus is on ensuring men understand that their violence arises from their power over women, and on challenging this. There needs to be strong awareness raising campaigns at the local and national level using different types of methods. The message that VAW is not acceptable or inevitable needs to be clearly given. There is also need for awareness on healthy ways of communication within society, in relationships etc.

The awareness building strategies can be done by street-based theatre to electronic media footages. Unless the alternative forms of behaviours can be shown up it may be very difficult for people to find a different frame of reference to behave differently. The electronic media in form of films, chat shows, awareness messages, TV dramas as well as theatre, could endeavour to portray a balanced view of women, potentially highlighting and challenging some strongly held beliefs which could help the general population to take on board or consider alternative beliefs about women.

Different approaches to tackling these beliefs and attitudes towards women are already being carried out in Bangladesh. There needs to be an assessment of these programmes.

*  Discourse on Sexuality and Masculinity

Society as a whole does not want to acknowledge and address issues to do with sexuality and how it affects both men and women. There is confusion, misinformation, a lack of knowledge about sexuality, and a lack of ‘safe’ and comfortable spaces to discuss questions and emotions to do with sexuality.

Issues of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, consent, sexual diversity and gender expectations, are not discussed openly in Bangladesh. There is therefore a need for a discussion regarding all of these issues.

There is also a need for a discourse on masculinity. Various projects are being done on masculinity in Bangladesh. There needs to be an assessment of work being done, so that practices or interventions that are successful towards challenging patriarchal notions of masculinity can be highlighted and possibly replicated.

*  Address Prevention and Early Interventions

Primary prevention interventions are those that seek to prevent violence before it occurs. Interventions can be targeted to the whole population or to particular groups that may be at higher risk of being the perpetrators or victims of violence. Some primary prevention interventions (such as social marketing campaigns) focus on changing behaviour or building the knowledge and skills of individuals. However, primary prevention can also focus on changing environments so that they are safer for women. Interventions that do not have a particular focus on violence, but address its underlying causes (such as gender inequality and poverty), are also primary prevention interventions.

Early intervention is targeted to individuals and groups who exhibit early signs of perpetrating violent behaviour or of being subject to violence. They can be aimed at changing behaviours or increasing the skills of individuals and groups. Early intervention may also be targeted to environments in which there are strong signs that violence may occur or has begun to occur (e.g. subcultures, such as adolescent boys or men which are associated with groups with a history of violence, in which there is a strong culture of disrespect of women). In case of preventive measures, social organisations can be encouraged to play an important role in helping people to identify the early symptoms of such behaviours and thus to make them understand that these are harmful for the person and his family and to a greater extent for the entire society.

*  Minimising Gaps by Developing Networking

There are many organisations working in the field of VAW in Bangladesh. Most of them are working with the survivors of the violence. However, it is clear that without addressing perpetrators, interventions will not be comprehensive.

There are some agencies in Bangladesh which are working with men in trying to tackle VAW. There is a need to document different initiatives and assess these and there is a need to network and link up with those working in different areas with men and VAW.

*  Criminal Justice System

Ways in which the criminal justice system could act as an intervening agency and as a preventive force in light of some of the issues which have come out of this study need to be looked into. Measures in the system used to deter crime need to be reassessed. The current laws which are supposedly very strong, are so severe that they are often not implemented, hence very stringent laws do not appear to be acting as a deterrent to VAW. Hence these laws and their implementation and their effectiveness as a deterrent should be reviewed. The current investigative method should be assessed, and corruption in the law enforcement system should be addressed. Rehabilitative policies should be introduced into the penal system, so that those who come into contact with the criminal justice system emerge as better people who are less violent, take responsibility for their actions and want be useful members of society, instead of individuals who want to commit further violent acts. Ways in which the local government and community could have a role should be explored.

* Multi-pronged Policy and Approach by Government and Non-government Agencies

Although further research needs to be conducted to assess whether these findings can be generalised for a wider

population of perpetrators of VAW, there are already major policy and service delivery implications emerging from the pilot study findings. It seems interventions could be designed with a two-pronged approach: preventative and rehabilitative.

A long term plan based on research backed recommendations should be drawn up which would include government policy and a multi-sectoral strategy to prevent incidents of violence occuring. This could include social services and a mental health service which would have a systematic protocol for dealing with individuals and families in need. Social services, the health system, the education system, the criminal justice system, the media, activists, non-government organisations and communities, all have a role to play in such a coordinated prevention strategy. 

Based on this study, it seems important that the following key messages are incorporated while designing and piloting interventions VAW:

  • There is a need for society to understand that VAW is not intrinsic, inevitable or acceptable.
  • There is a need to recognise and accept responsibility for one’s own actions e.g. violent behaviour (otherwise this behaviour will not change if there is the feeling that the problem lies in the ‘other’).
  • There is a need to understand and learn how to deal with and manage difficult feelings and emotions, (e.g. anger, frustration, powerlessness, rejection, apparent betrayal, feelings of revenge, sexual urges, sexuality) in helpful and appropriate ways.

Demographic Characteristics of the Perpetrators

  1. Information on 20 convicted cases


গবেষণায় অংশগ্রহণের সম্মতিপত্র

(Consent Form)

“নারীপক্ষ”- একটি আন্দোলনমুখী সদস্যভিত্তিক সংগঠন। দীর্ঘদিন ধরে নারী নির্যাতন রোধে নারীপক্ষ বিভিন্ন ধরনের কাজ করে আসছে। একজন ব্যক্তি কেন, কখন, কিভাবে নির্যাতন করেন সে সম্পর্কে গভীরভাবে জানতে নারীপক্ষ একটি গবেষণা কার্যক্রম শুরু করেছে। উক্ত গবেষণা কাজে প্রয়োজনীয় তথ্য সংগ্রহের উদ্দেশ্যে আমরা আপনার নিকট এসেছি। আপনার দেওয়া তথ্যের ভিত্তিতে যারা নারী নির্যাতন করেন তাদের মানসিক দিকগুলো বোঝা যাবে এবং সেই অনুযায়ী ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ করা হলে ধীরে ধীরে নারী নির্যাতন কমে আসবে বলে আমরা আশাবাদী। আপনার অংশগ্রহণে গবেষণা কাজটি সফল হবে, তাই গুরুত্বপূর্ণ এ কাজে আপনার অংশগ্রহণ অত্যন্ত প্রয়োজনীয়।

এই গবেষণায় নিম্নোক্ত নীতিমালাগুলো অনুসরণ করা হবে-

১.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী তথ্যপ্রদানকারী ব্যক্তির অনুমতি ব্যতীত গবেষণার তথ্য সংগ্রহ করতে পারবে না।

২.       আপনার ব্যক্তিগত পরিচয় গোপন রেখে আপনার দেয়া অন্যান্য তথ্য গবেষণায় ব্যবহার করা হবে।

৩.       তথ্যপ্রদানকারী ব্যক্তির তথ্যের গোপনীয়তা সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী ও নারীপক্ষ বজায় রাখবে।

৪.       গবেষণার প্রাপ্ত তথ্যাবলীর মালিকানা নারীপক্ষ’র।

৫.       প্রয়োজনে অভিজ্ঞ কারোও কাছ থেকে পরামর্শ বা সুপারভিশনের সময় তথ্যপ্রদানকারী ব্যক্তির নাম ও ঠিকানা সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী উহ্য রেখে সুপারভিশন গ্রহণ করবেন।

৬.       তথ্যপ্রদানকারী ও তথ্য সংগ্রহকারী দু’পক্ষ থেকে প্রাপ্ত তথ্য, বিচার প্রক্রিয়ায় কোনো প্রভাব রাখবে না।

৭.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণ ছাড়া মানসিক সহায়তা প্রদান করা বা দাবী করা এ কার্যক্রমের অংশ নয়।

৮.       যদি কারোও মানসিক চিকিৎসার প্রয়োজন হয় সেক্ষেত্রে চিকিৎসা গ্রহণের জন্য কর্তৃপক্ষের নিকট সুপারিশ করা।

৯.       তথ্য প্রদানকারী যে-কোনো সময় গবেষণা সম্পর্কে জানার সম্পূর্ণ অধিকার রাখেন।

১০.     গোপনীয়তা সার্বিকভাবে রাখা হবে বলা হলেও কিছু কিছু ক্ষেত্রে এ গোপনীয়তার শর্ত কার্যকরী হবে না-

  • প্রদেয় তথ্য থেকে যদি এটা স্পষ্ট প্রতীয়মান হয় যে ব্যক্তি নিজের বা অন্য কারো প্রাণের জন্য হুমকিস্বরূপ।
  • তথ্যপ্রদানকারী, তথ্যগ্রহণকারীর বিরুদ্ধে কোনো আইনি অভিযোগ বা ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ করলে।

১১.     ব্যক্তিগত পরিচয় না দিয়ে জ্ঞান অনুসন্ধান, সম্প্রসারণ, অনুশীলনের উদ্দেশ্যে প্রাপ্ত তথ্য ব্যবহার করা যাবে।

আপনি যদি উক্ত নীতিমালা মেনে নেওয়ার মাধ্যমে এ গবেষণায় অংশ নিতে আগ্রহী হন তবে অনুগ্রহপূর্বক নিম্নে স্বাক্ষর অথবা টিপসই করুন।



স্থায়ী ঠিকানা:……………………..






সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীর স্বাক্ষরঃ


সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীদের নিরাপত্তা সংক্রান্ত দিক-নির্দেশনা

(Safety Guideline)

          ১.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণ কাজের সময় দুই সদস্য বিশিষ্ট দল থাকতে হবে।

          ৩.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী নিজের কাছে অবশ্যই রিমোট বেল রাখবে, যাতে প্রয়োজনে অন্যজনকে অবহিত করতে পারে।

          ৪.       সাক্ষাৎকার নেবার সময় সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী দরজার কাছাকাছি বসবে যাতে প্রয়োজনে দ্রুত বের হয়ে আসতে পারে।

          ৫.       স্থানীয় পর্যায়ের কোনো ব্যক্তিকে যোগাযোগ সীমার মধ্যে রাখা যেতে পারে।

          ৬.       সাক্ষাৎকার নেবার সময় স্থানীয় প্রশাসনকে এ বিষয়ে অবহিত করতে হবে।

          ৭.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী যে-কোনো বিপদের মুখোমুখি হলে প্রতিষ্ঠান সেই দায়দায়িত্ব বহন করবে।

          ৮.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণের স্থানে এবং এর আশেপাশের জায়গায় আঘাত করার মতো কোনো বস্ত্ত রাখা যাবে না।

          ৯.       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীর সাথে সাক্ষাৎকার প্রদানকারীর অন্ততপক্ষে ৩৯ ইঞ্চি দূরত্ব বজায় রাখতে হবে,  প্রয়োজনবোধে টেবিল-চেয়ারের ব্যবস্থা করতে হবে।

          ১০.     সাক্ষাৎ প্রদানকারী ব্যক্তির আচরণের উপর প্রভাব ফেলতে পারে এমন কোনো ছবি বা পোস্টার সাক্ষাৎ গ্রহণের স্থানে রাখা যাবে না।

          ১১.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীকে আত্মরক্ষার জন্য সার্বক্ষণিকভাবে সতর্ক থাকতে হবে যেন প্রয়োজনে যে-কোনো পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করতে পারে।

          ১২.     হুমকিস্বরূপ কোনো আচরণের শিকার হওয়া মাত্র তত্ত্বাবধায়কের শরণাপন্ন হতে হবে।

          ১৩.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণ করার সময় সম্পর্ক স্থাপনে সাক্ষাৎকার প্রদানকারী ব্যক্তি মনোযোগী না  হলে, তার সাথে সম্পর্ক স্থাপনে মনোযোগী হতে হবে।

          ১৪.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীকে সাক্ষাৎকার নেবার জন্য শারীরিক এবং মানসিকভাবে সুস্থ থাকতে হবে।

          ১৫.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী মার্জনীয় পোশাক পরিচ্ছদ পরিধান করবে।

          ১৬.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী নিজস্ব কোনো ফোন নম্বর, ঠিকানা কিছুই প্রকাশ না করে প্রয়োজনে সংগঠনের ঠিকানা ব্যবহার করবে।

          ১৭.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী সংগঠনকে না জানিয়ে অভিযুক্ত ব্যক্তির সঙ্গে কাজ শুরু করবেন না।

          ১৮.     সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীকে সতর্কভাবে পর্যবেক্ষণ করতে হবে এবং অভিযুক্তদের কোনো আগ্রাসী মনোভাব প্রকাশ পেলে অথবা সে বিরক্তি প্রকাশ করলে       মানসিকতা বুঝে যোগাযোগ করতে হবে।

          ১৯.     কখনো আমরা কোনো তথ্য পাওয়ার জন্য অভিযুক্তদেরকে জোর করব না, কোনো বিষয়ে জানবার জন্য কৌশলে প্রোব করা যেতে পারে।

          ২০.     কোনো অভিযুক্তকে যদি বেশি আগ্রাসী মনে হয় সেক্ষেত্রে অযথা জোর না করে প্রতিষ্ঠানকে জানাতে হবে যাতে করে দ্রুত নমুনা পরিবর্তন করা যায়।

          ২১.     নিরাপত্তা রক্ষার জন্য দ্বিতীয় সাক্ষাৎকারীর দায়িত্ব হবে ভারভাটিম লেখার পাশাপাশি প্রথম সাক্ষাৎকারীকে নিরাপত্তার ব্যাপারে সহায়তা করা।

          ২২.     কখনোই অভিযুক্তকে উত্তেজিত বা রাগান্বিত করে তোলে এমন কোনো প্রশ্ন করা যাবে না। অবশ্যই লক্ষ্য রাখতে হবে যে, তারা যেন কোনোভাবেই               অসম্মানিত বোধ না করে।

          ২৩.     সব সময় স্বাভাবিক একজন ব্যক্তির মর্যাদা দিয়ে অভিযুক্তদের সাথে বলতে হবে।

          ২৪.     মনে রাখতে হবে যে, পজেটিভ থাকলে আমরা আমাদের তথ্যগুলো নিরপেক্ষ থেকে সহজেই বের করে আনতে পারব।

          ২৫.     সব সময় নিজেকে নারীপক্ষ’র একজন গবেষণা কর্মী/কর্মী হিসাবে পরিচয়ে দিতে হবে। অভিযুক্ত ব্যক্তির কাছে নিজেকে মনোবিজ্ঞানী অথবা মানসিক স্বাস্থ্যকর্মী হিসাবে পরিচয় দেয়া যাবে না।

          ২৬.     কখনই কোনো জবযধন/ঞযবৎধঢ়ু ইত্যাদির ব্যাপারে কোনো প্রত্যাশা/প্রতিজ্ঞাবদ্ধ করা যাবে না।

          ২৭. জেলের পরিস্থিতির সাথে নিজেদের খাপ খাইয়ে নিয়ে কাজ করতে হবে।



গবেষণার উপাত্ত সংগ্রহের প্রশ্নমালা


১. প্রেষণা

১.১ আভ্যন্তরীণ প্রেষণা

১.১.১ : প্রয়োজন/চাহিদা

          ১.১.১.ক : শারীরিক

  •  শারীরিক কোনো পরিবর্তন উদ্বুদ্ধ করেছে কি না?
  •  শারীরিক কোনো চাহিদা কি আপনাকে তাগিদ দিয়েছিল?

          ১.১.১.খ : মানসিক

  •  পরিবারে বা সমাজে গুরুত্ব পাওয়ার জন্য কি করা প্রয়োজন বলে আপনি মনে করেন?
  •  পছন্দের মানুষের কাছাকাছি থাকার জন্য কি করা দরকার বলে আপনি মনে করেন?
  •  স্নেহ-মমতা কিংবা ভালোবাসা পাওয়া থেকে বঞ্চিত হলে তা কিভাবে পূরণ করা যায়?
  •  লক্ষ্যে পৌঁছানোর জন্য আপনি কি ধরনের পন্থা অবলম্বন করে থাকেন?

          ১.১.১.গ : সামাজিক

  • একজন মানুষের ভালো থাকার জন্য যা যা প্রয়োজন আপনার পরিবার-পরিজন কি সে চাহিদা মেটাতো?
  • ঘটনাটির পিছনে সামাজিকভাবে কোনো কারণ রয়েছে কি না?
  • কি কি বিষয়গুলো/কারণগুলো কাজটি করতে আপনাকে উদ্বুদ্ধ করলো?
  • আপনার পরিবার কি মনে করে?
  • আপনার পারিবারিক বা সামাজিক সম্পর্কগুলো এই কাজের জন্য দায়ী কি-না?
  • আপনি যে পরিবেশে বড় হয়েছেন তা আপনার ভালো থাকার জন্য যথেষ্ট ছিল কি-না?
  • বন্ধুদের কাছ থেকে আপনি যা চান তা কি পেতেন?
  • সহকর্মীদের কাছে আপনার যে চাওয়া তা কি মিটতো?

১.১.২ : চিন্তা-ভাবনা

          ১.১.২.ক : লক্ষ্য এবং পরিকল্পনা

  • আপনি কিভাবে কাজটি করবেন বলে ঠিক করেছিলেন?
  • কি উদ্দেশ্য মাথায় রেখে আপনি এ আচরণটি করলেন বা ঘটনাটি ঘটালেন?
  • আপনি এর মাধ্যমে কি পাবেন বলে মনে করেছিলেন?
  • এ ঘটনা/আচরণটি করে ফেলার পর আপনি কি পাবেন বলে আশা করেছিলেন?

          ১.১.২.খ : প্রত্যাশাসমূহ

  • কি চেয়ে বা পরিবর্তন হবে ভেবে আপনি এ আচরণটি করলেন বা ঘটনাটি ঘটালেন?
  • কি প্রত্যাশায় আপনি এ আচরণটি করলেন বা ঘটনাটি ঘটালেন?
  • এ ঘটনার ফলাফলস্বরূপ আপনি কি প্রত্যাশা করেছিলেন?
  • আপনি আসলে কি চেয়েছিলেন?

          ১.১.২.গ : মূল্যবোধ

  • যার সঙ্গে আপনি সহিংস আচরণটি করে ফেলেছিলেন তার সম্পর্কে আপনার মতামত/মনোভাব কি?

          ১.১.২.ঘ : নিজ সম্পর্কিত ধারণা

  • নিজের সম্পর্কে আপনি কি ভাবেন?
  • নিজের সম্পর্কে কি ভেবে আপনি এ আচরণটি করলেন বা ঘটনাটি ঘটালেন?

          ১.১.২.ঙ : বিশ্বাস

  • আচরণটি করার পিছনে আপনার ভিতরে কোনো বিশ্বাস কাজ করেছিল কি?

                   যদি না বুঝে থাকে সেক্ষেত্রে উদাহরণ দেওয়া যেতে পারে এভাবে যে,

                   –  মার দেওয়া ছাড়া মেয়েদেরকে ঠিক রাখা যায় না।

                   –  স্ত্রীদেরকে প্রয়োজনে কিছুমাত্রায় মারধর দিতে হয়।

                   –  সংসার ঠিক রাখতে বৌ-কে মার দিতে হয়।

  • আপনার এ আচরণটির পিছনে কোনো বিশ্বাস কাজ করেছে কি?
  • কি বিশ্বাস/প্রত্যাশায় আপনি এ আচরণটি করলেন বা ঘটনাটি ঘটালেন?

          ১.১.২.চ : চিন্তার ধরন

  • কোন্ বিষয়টি দেখে বা কি চিন্তা করে আপনার মনে হয়েছে যে ঐ

মুহূর্তেই তাকে আক্রমণ করা দরকার?

  • তখন ঠিক কি মনে হয়েছে আপনার?
  • আপনি কি আগের মতো আবার কোনো ঘটনা ঘটিয়ে ফেলবেন বলে মনে করেন? কেন?
  • আপনার কি মনে হয় কি কারণে এ ঘটনাটি ঘটেছিল?
  • শুধুমাত্র ঐদিন দেখেই কি মনে হয়েছিল এর বিহীত করা দরকার, না কি আগেও কোনো ঘটনা ছিল?
  • কোন্ ধরনের চিন্তা/ঘটনাগুলো আপনাকে সহিংস আচরণ করতে বাধ্য করে?

১.১.৩. :  আবেগীয় অবস্থা

          ১.১.৩.ক : অনুভূতি

  • কাজটি করে ফেলার পর আপনার কেমন লেগেছিল?
  • এখনও ঘটনাটি মনে করে আপনি কেমন বোধ করেন?
  • রাগ, ক্রোধ ইত্যাদি আবেগীয় অবস্থার সঙ্গে আপনি কিভাবে খাপ খাওয়ান?

          ১.১.৩.খ : শারীরিক প্রস্ত্ততি

  • শারীরিক কোনো পরিবর্তনের জন্য আপনি কাজটি করেছেন কি না?
  • আপনার শরীরে কি ধরনের অনুভূতি কাজ করছিল?
  • আপনি কি মনে করেন আপনার মধ্যে আসলে কি ঘটেছিল-
  • ঘটনার আগ মুহূর্তে …………………..
  • পরের দিন ………………………….
  • পরের সপ্তাহ ………………………..
  • দীর্ঘদিন পরে ………………………

          (এগুলো আসলে, ‘‘কেন সে ঘটনাটি ঘটিয়েছিল?’’- সে সময়ের দিকে নিয়ে যায়)

     ১.১.৩.গ : প্রকাশ ভঙ্গি

  • কাউকে নির্যাতন করার মাধ্যমে কি আপনি নিজের রাগ বা ক্রোধ কমিয়ে থাকেন?
  • আপনি যখন কারো উপর রেগে যান, তখন রাগ কমানোর জন্য আপনি কি করেন? রাগ, ক্রোধ ইত্যাদি আবেগীয়  অবস্থাগুলো আপনি কিভাবে প্রকাশ করেন?
  • আপনার চাহিদা পূরণের জন্য আপনি কি করেন?
  • আপনার চাহিদা পূরণে ব্যর্থ হলে আপনি কি করেন?

১.২  বাহ্যিক প্রেষণা


  • যার সাথে ঘটনাটি করা হলো তার দিক থেকে কারণ কি কি?
  • ঘটনা সংঘটিত করায় কি কি সুবিধা হলো?
  • এছাড়া আর কোন্ ঘটনা বা কোন্ বিষয় দায়ী ছিল আপনার এই ধরনের চিন্তা ভাবনা তৈরিতে?
  • যে কারণে ঘটনাটি সংঘটিত করতে হয়েছিল?
  • সাধারণত কি কি কারণে আপনি অন্যকে আঘাত করে ফেলতেন? 

          ১.২.২. ফলাফল

  • ঘটনা সংঘটিত করায় কোনো অসুবিধা হলো কি?
  • এছাড়াও আর কোন্ বিষয় আছে কি? আপনি কখনও দেখেছেন কি না কেউ এরকম নির্যাতন করেছে, যা আপনার চিন্তা-চেতনাকে প্রভাবিত করেছে?
  • আপনি যা চেয়েছিলেন তা কি পেয়েছেন?
  • ঘটনাটির পরে আপনার কি কি অভিজ্ঞতা হয়েছিল?
  • আপনার সামাজিক অবস্থানে কি কোনো প্রভাব ফেলেছে?

২.  প্রত্যক্ষণ/ঘটনার ব্যাখ্যা প্রদান

          ২.১.ক: সংবেদন

  • কোন্ অবস্থায় আপনি নারীদেরকে অপমানজনক কথা বলেন?
  • কোন্ বিষয় বা ঘটনার উপস্থিতির ফলে আপনি নারীদের সাথে এমন আচরণ করতে বাধ্য হন?
  • নারী কি করলে আপনি তাকে মারধর করা যায় বলে মনে করেন?

          ২.১.খ: ব্যাখ্যা প্রদান

  • কিভাবে একজন ব্যক্তি সহিংসতা/সংঘর্ষে লিপ্ত হয় বলে আপনি মনে করেন?
  • আপনি কি বলবেন মেয়েদের মধ্যে কোন্ ধরনের মেয়েরা বেশি নির্যাতনের শিকার হয়ে থাকে?
  • নির্যাতনের ঘটনাটিকে আপনি কিভাবে দেখেছেন?
  • ঘটনাটি অন্যান্যরা কিভাবে দেখে বলে মনে করেন?
  • আপনি মহিলাদের নির্যাতনের এই বিষয়টিকে কিভাবে দেখেন?
  • কি কারণে মহিলাদের উপরই নির্যাতনটা বেশি হয় বলে আপনি মনে করেন?
  • আর কোনো কারণ থাকতে পারে কি?
  • আপনি কি মনে করেন যে কোন্ ধরনের নারী নির্যাতনের ইন্ধন হিসাবে মেয়েটি নিজেই দায়ী? (যেমন-ধর্ষণের ক্ষেত্রে মেয়ের পোশাক পরিচ্ছদ)
  • একই ধরনের সহিংস ঘটনা বা পরিবেশের সম্মুখীন আপনি পূর্বে হয়েছেন কি?

৩.  শিক্ষণ প্রক্রিয়া

  • এর আগেও অন্যকে আঘাত করার মতো কোনো ঘটনা কারো সাথে ঘটেছে কি না?
  • চাহিদা পূরণ করার জন্য আপনি কাউকে আঘাত করেছেন কি?
  • অন্যকে আঘাত করার এই যে আচরণ/অভ্যাস তা কবে থেকে করছেন?
  • এই ধরনের নির্যাতনমূলক আচরণ করার পর পরিবারে আপনার গুরুত্ব কেমন ছিল?
  • কার কার সাথে করতেন?
  • কিভাবে এ আঘাত করতেন?
  • দিনে বা সপ্তাহে কতবার এই ধরনের ঘটনা ঘটে যেত বলে মনে করেন?
  • তেমন কোনো ঘটনা শুরু হলে কতক্ষণ ধরে সাধারণত সেটি চলতো?
  • পরিবারে কোনো নির্যাতনের ঘটনা আছে কিনা?
  • ঘটলে সেগুলো কেমন? 
  • সহিংস আচরণ করার মাধ্যমে আপনি যা চাইতেন তা পেতেন?
  • কাউকে নির্যাতন করার মাধ্যমে আপনি কি নিজের ক্রোধ কমিয়ে থাকেন?
  • কখনও কি এমন হয়েছে আপনাকে নির্যাতন করার মাধ্যমে কেউ স্বার্থ হাসিল করেছে?
  • আপনার মনের মতো না হওয়াতে আপনি তাকে শাস্তি দেওয়ার কথা চিন্তা করলেন- এ বিষয়টা আপনার মধ্যে কিভাবে তৈরি হলো?

৪.   ব্যক্তিত্ব বৈশিষ্ট্য

  • আপনি আপনার অবসর সময় কিভাবে কাটান?
  • আপনি কি রোমাঞ্চ পছন্দ করেন?
  • আনন্দ উপভোগ করার জন্য আপনি কি প্রতিনিয়ত নতুন উপায় খোঁজেন?
  • বিপজ্জনক কাজে অংশগ্রহণ করতে পছন্দ করেন কি?
  • আপনার কি একাকী সময় কাটাতেই বেশি ভালো লাগে?
  • অনেক ব্যক্তির সাথে সময় কাটাতে আপনি কেমন বোধ করেন?
  • একজন ব্যক্তির অন্যদের সাথে মিলেমিশে চলার বিষয়টিকে আপনি কিভাবে দেখেন?


গবেষণার নৈতিক দিক-নির্দেশনা

(Ethical Guideline)

১)       গবেষণায় অংশগ্রহণকারী ব্যক্তির সঙ্গে অবহেলা বা অপমান বা তদ্রূপ কোনো অবজ্ঞাসূচক আচরণ না করা।

২)       তথ্যের গোপনীয়তা সম্পূর্ণভাবে বজায় রাখা।

৩)      গবেষণায় অংশগ্রহণকারীকে সামাজিক অবস্থানের ভিত্তিতে না দেখে সমানভাবে মূল্যায়ন করা।

৪)       তথ্য সংরক্ষণের সময় বা ভারবাটিম লেখার সময় সাক্ষাৎকারে অংশগ্রহণকারীর নাম ও ঠিকানা উল্লেখ করা যাবে না।

৫)       কোনো অংশগ্রহণকারী যদি মানসিকভাবে অসুস্থ বা সমস্যাগ্রস্ত হয়ে থাকেন তাহলে সেক্ষেত্রে তাদের সঙ্গে কাজ না করে উপযুক্ত চিকিৎসার জন্য ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণের সুপারিশ করতে পারেন।

৬)      দীর্ঘক্ষণ সাক্ষাৎকার প্রদানে অপারগ শারীরিক বা মানসিক স্বাস্থ্য সমস্যায় আক্রান্ত ব্যক্তিদের কাছ থেকে তথ্য সংগ্রহের জন্য নির্বাচিত না করা।

৭)       গবেষণা কার্যক্রম চলাকালীন অংশগ্রহণকারীর সঙ্গে কোনো ধরনের ব্যক্তিগত সম্পর্ক স্থাপন থেকে বিরত থাকা।

৮)      সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীদের যথাসম্ভব ব্যক্তিগত তথ্য প্রদান থেকে বিরত থাকা।

৯)       সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারীর সঙ্গে সাক্ষাৎকার প্রদানকারীর কোনো ধরনের পরিচয় থাকলে সাক্ষাৎকার নেওয়ার পূর্বেই তা নারীপক্ষকে জানাতে হবে।

১০)     তথ্য সংগ্রহ ও সংরক্ষণ প্রক্রিয়ায় কোনো ধরনের তথ্য বিকৃত না করা ।

১১)     সাক্ষাৎকারে অংশগ্রহণকারী তথা তথ্য প্রদানকারী গবেষণা সম্পর্কে জানার সম্পূর্ণ অধিকার রাখবেন।

১২)     তত্ত্বাবধানকালে অংশগ্রহণকারীর নাম ও ঠিকানা উহ্য রেখে তদারকি করা।

১৩)     মানসিক চিকিৎসা প্রদান নয় বরং দক্ষতার সাথে অংশগ্রহণকারীর কাছ থেকে তথ্য সংগ্রহ করতে হবে।

……………………………….                                           ………………………….

(প্রকল্প সমন্বয়কারী)                                                          (সাক্ষাৎকার গ্রহণকারী)


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