chapter  5
Women’s experiences, perceptions and understanding of domestic violence
Pages 59

Introduction This chapter is based on field inter views conducted with forty women (see Chapter 3). The concern of this chapter is to ex plore local con ditions and factors leading to do mestic viol ence against women in Iranian soci ety, with Islam in its Shia version as the mainstream discourse. I approach this by analysing women’s nar rat ives for their understandings and perceptions of the roots and causes of viol ence. It was a quest both for me and my inter viewees to delve into their lives and try to understand the reasons behind their difficult relationships with their husbands and partners. The fol low ing sections consist of the themes and subthemes that emerged as a result of this ana lysis. Inferring from the women’s own in ter pretation and understanding of the reasons for their husbands’ abuse, it becomes apparent that the most im port ant cause of conflict between couples was the men’s tend ency and desire to exert “power” and “control” over their partners. However, this need for control was found to be applied in different forms by different men. In the first section, I discuss the different types of do mestic violence reported by women. Subsequent sections deal with the factors involved in do mestic viol ence, based on the women’s accounts.