The Family as a Protective Factor for Violence against Women

(FWI Policy Brief)  An important measure any State can take that would protect women and girls is to promote strong and healthy family life. Decades of research demonstrate that women who are married and girls who live with their married parents are less likely to experience domestic violence, other crime and child abuse. Unfortunately, a narrative often advanced is the claim that marriages and families are a main source of violence against women and children and that a married woman may be more at risk for violence than a single woman. This narrative, though oft repeated, is completely unfounded. While certainly some women and children are abused in a married family setting, overwhelmingly the data show that, overall, marriage and family are significant protective factors in preventing violence against women and girls.