Attitudes towards Domestic Violence in Lebanon: A Qualitative Study of Primary Care Practitioners
In most Arab countries, family matters including Domestic Violence continue to be handled by religious courts as civil legislation does not criminalise acts of violence within the family. In Lebanon, a law to this effect has been debated within a parliamentary committee since 2010. It is strongly opposed as it conflicts with much current legislation based on tradition. For example, article 503 defines rape as a forcible sexual act committed against someone other than a spouse.
In view of the growing consensus internationally, as reflected in the WHO guidelines on intimate partner violence, that health services need to address the needs of their patients experiencing abuse, and the anticipated changes that would emerge in Lebanon if the DV law were approved, this study aimed to explore physicians’ attitudes towards DV in Lebanon, their perception of their role in responding to DV in the context of healthcare services, the barriers to their involvement, and their attitude towards the proposed family violence law.