National Women’s Health Survey for Suriname

Accesible PDF image
Oct 2019
King, Dana Michael
This report presents the first nationally representative estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence against women in Suriname. The data comes from the 2018 Suriname Women’s Health Survey -a national, quantitative, cross-sectional survey of 1,527 women aged 15-64. The report finds that 32 percent of ever-partnered women reported at least one act of physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 6 percent reported at least one act in the 12 months prior to data collection. Approximately 17 percent of all respondents reported having been forced into sexual intercourse by a non-partner in their lifetime (2 percent in the past 12 months). Significant risk factors associated with IPV were identified, including cohabitation without marriage, non-consensual marriage, having been pregnant, having experienced or witnessed violence in childhood, substance abuse by the partner, and the partner being unemployed. The report documents the negative consequences of IPV for women and their children, as well as the most common responses and coping mechanisms. Approximately one in three women who experienced IPV never disclosed their experience and most survivors did not seek or receive assistance. Women most often sought help from their mothers rather than police, social services, or other entities adequately resourced to address IPV. Several factors precluded women from accessing help, including fear, shame, and the normalcy associated with violence.