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Report on Results of Research on Gender-Based Violence in Youth Intimate Relationships in BiH

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In Foundation, together with its partner civil society organizations across the country, carried out an extensive research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to determine the frequency and types of gender-based violence in adolescent partner relationships. Considering a very limited data on experiences related to gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of the research is related to the establishment of certain family risk factors, but also the attitudes that contribute to this phenomenon.

The research was conducted in 23 towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, covering the total of 2397 respondents, secondary school students.

Young people enter the first intimate relationships at the average age of 15. Boys have a bigger number of short-term relationships and primarily focus on sexuality in a relationship, while girls have a fewer number of relationships that last a little longer and primarily focus on emotions.

Furthermore, the most important research results are as following:

  • Two-thirds (67.7%) of respondents have experienced at least one form of gender-based violence in their former partner relationships
  • All types of violence are present, but control and manipulation is the most frequent (61.9%) and special form of violence, even though the majority of authors see it as a type of emotional abuse
  • One half of the respondents have experienced some form of emotional abuse in intimate relationships, while sexual and physical abuse is present among adolescents to some degree
  • There is no statistically significant difference in experiences of violence by sex, but many international surveys, whose results are confirmed by our research as well, emphasise disproportionate consequences, i.e. the consequences of violence are more harmful to girls, who experience it more deeply and for longer periods of time
  • Attitudes that are based on traditional beliefs about gender roles, stereotypes and positive attitudes towards violence in general, are associated with violence in partner relationships
  • The most significant risk factors from the respondents’ primary families that are associated with intimate partner violence are: alcohol and drug abuse, witnessing violence and experiencing emotional abuse, mental disorders, chronic illnesses and trouble with the law of family members
  • Low family flexibility and cohesion poses the biggest risk of violence in youth intimate relationships.

The high prevalence of gender-based violence in partner relationships of young people and its association with a family risk factors calls for responsible, timely and proactive attitude towards young people through various psycho-educational, prevention and intervention programs.

Report on Results of Research on Gender-Based Violence in Youth Intimate Relationships in BiH 2016