September 1, 2013

Domestic Violence Against Women on Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

Geraldine Luchuen Dugwen BS; W. Thane Hancock MD, MPH; James Gilmar AS; John Gilmatam BA; Petra Tun MO; and Gregory G. Maskarinec PhD


Anecdotally there are high rates of domestic violence in the small Micronesian State of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), but there have been no studies to quantify the prevalence or characteristics of domestic violence in Yap or in any other state of the FSM. A survey was administered to women at the Yap hospital and community health centers from February through June 2011. Survey data were on domestic violence, which was supplemented by a focus group to explore the issues involved in greater detail. A high prevalence of domestic violence was documented by the survey; perceptions about this were explored in the focus group. On the questionnaire, 148 of 194 (76%) women reported at least one form of abuse. Given the small number of adult women in Yap, these findings suggest that domestic violence is a serious, pervasive problem that Yap needs urgently to address. The issue clearly needs to be investigated throughout the other states of the addressed at the national policy level as well as at the state level.

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