American Univesity of Beirut

“Hitting as Light as Feathers”: Religious Leaders’ Voices on Domestic Violence


Domestic violence (DV) is described as a major public health issue that negatively affects women's physical, mental, reproductive, and sexual health. In Lebanon, there are 18 religious sects that are allowed by the Lebanese constitution to manage their own affairs, judge, legislate, and issue rulings. 

These laws discriminate against married women and favor men over women. With the aim to explore the views and attitudes of religious leaders on DV, and their experiences of dealing with DV in Lebanon, a team of researchers from the American University of Beirut including the chair of the Health Promotion and Community Health Department at the Faculty of Health Sciences Dr. Jihad Makhoul, conducted in-depth interviews with 13 male religious leaders from various religious denominations. Each religious leader participated in an in-depth interview to assess understanding and perceptions about DV, and how DV cases are usually dealt with. 

To read the full study please click HERE.

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