How Safe Are Caribbean Homes for Women and Children?: Attitudes toward Intimate Partner Violence and Corporal Punishment

Dec 2016
This policy brief uses data from the 2014/2015 Latin American Public Opinion Project survey to examine attitudes toward intimate partner violence and child physical discipline in six Caribbean countries. Although Latin America has a reputation for a particularly macho culture, Caribbean adults were 10.8 percent more likely to tolerate a man beating his wife if she neglects the household chores and 5.7 percent more likely to if she is unfaithful. Characteristics of those who were more tolerant of intimate partner violence included being lower income, younger, resident of a rural area, and not completing secondary education. Similarly, those who say it is necessary to physically punish children in the Caribbean - and those who experienced physical punishment frequently themselves - were more prevalent than in Latin American countries. Experiencing frequent physical punishment during childhood was found to be a statistically significant correlate of male tolerance of intimate partner violence after controlling for other individual characteristics. Policy options to prevent intimate partner violence and childhood violence are examined.