Emotional Abuse by an Intimate Partner
English: % of women aged 15 - 49 who experienced emotional abuse from an intimate partner in the past 12 months
French: % de femmes âgées de 15 à 49 ans victimes d’harcèlement moral de la part d’un partenaire intime au cours des 12 derniers mois
Portuguese: % de mulheres com idades entre 15 e 49 anos que sofreram de abuso emocional por um parceiro íntimo nos últimos 12 meses
Czech: % žen ve věku 15 - 49 let, které během posledních 12 měsíců byly svým partnerem nuceny k sexu
What is its purpose?
Freedom from violence is a critical aspect of women’s empowerment and greater gender equality. This indicator therefore measures the proportion of women who in the past 12 months experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous intimate partner. Considering how sensitive the collection of the required data is, this indicator should be used only in interventions that are specifically addressing the prevention and response to emotional abuse.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women aged 15 - 49 years:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q: Have you ever had an intimate partner? By intimate partner, I mean someone whom you married or with whom you lived together at any point in your life.
A: yes / no / did not respond
(ask the following questions only if the previous answer is YES)
Introduction: I am now going to ask you about some situations that are true for many women. The questions will relate to any intimate partners you had in the course of your entire life. Please be so kind and give me honest answers – I assure you that I will not share them with anyone living in this area. If anyone comes near us, I will change the topic of our interview. In the case you do wish to answer some of the questions, you do not have to. May I continue?
A0: the respondent provided consent / the respondent refused to continue
Q1: In the past 12 months, has your current or previous partner insulted you strongly or made you feel very bad about yourself?
A1: yes / no / did not respond
Q2: In the past 12 months, has your current or previous partner humiliated you in front of other people?
A2: yes / no / did not respond
Q3: In the past 12 months, has your current or previous partner done things to scare or intimidate you on purpose, for example by the way he looked at you, by yelling or smashing things?
A3: yes / no / did not respond
Q4: In the past 12 months, has your current or previous partner threatened to hurt you or someone you care about?
A4: yes / no / did not respond
In all instances where the answer is YES, it is recommended (though not required), that you also ask the following question:
Q: In the past 12 months, would you say that this has happened once, a few times or many times?
A: once / a few times / many times
To calculate the indicator’s value:
1) exclude those respondents who did not report any incidence of emotional abuse but refused or could not respond to one or more questions
2) divide the number of the remaining respondents who replied “yes” to one or more of the questions (Q1-4) by the total number of respondents (do not count those you excluded in step 1)
3) multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage
Disaggregate the data by the respondent’s age group, marital status, ethnicity, and other factors depending on the local context.
1) Collecting data about gender-based violence is sensitive and can cause serious harm. Take advantage of IndiKit's Rapid Guide to Collecting Survey Data on GBV (see below) to know how to minimize the risk of any harm and ensure the desired quality of collected data.
2) Ensure that the enumerators and respondents understand that the questions are trying to capture the proportion of women who have experienced abuse from an intimate partner in the past 12 months. However, that partner may not be 1) the current partner or 2) someone she has been with in the past 12 months. It can be any intimate partner the respondent had at any point in the course of her life. For example, the partner can be someone she no longer lives with, but he still abuses her.
3) Consider including an additional question assessing whether the woman that suffered from emotional violence has told someone about it and if so, to whom (use general categories, such as “a friend” – do not ask about specific people or names).
4) The guidance for this indicator was developed based on WHO (2005) Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women.
Access Additional Guidance
- WHO (2005) Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women (.pdf)
- MEASURE Evaluation (2008) Violence Against Women and Girls: A Compendium of M&E Indicators (.pdf)
- People in Need (2022) Rapid Guide to Collecting Survey Data on Gender Based Violence (.pdf)