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J Interpers Violence. 2012 Nov;27(16):3322-40. doi: 10.1177/0886260512441260. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Violence reported by the immigrant population is high as compared with the native population in southeast Spain.

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Murcia Regional Health Council, Murcia, Spain.


Immigrants constitute a population vulnerable to the problem of violence. This study sought to ascertain the prevalence of violence reported by the immigrant population in the Murcian Region of Spain and characterize the related factors, taking the country population as reference. A cross-sectional study was carried out based on a representative population sample of Latin American (n = 672; 48% women), Moroccan (n = 361; 25% women), and Spanish origin (n = 1,303; 66% women), aged 16 to 64 years. Using a specific questionnaire, the prevalence of violence in the preceding year was assessed. The results were compared with the Spaniards using the 2006 National Health Survey (NHS). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to study the factors associated with violence having been reported in each group, both separately and in immigrants versus Spaniards. Finally, the cause and place of last aggression were studied. The prevalence of violence was 6.5% in Latin Americans, 12.0% in Moroccans, and 2.7% in Spaniards. Discrimination was the principal violence-related factor in all three groups. Among Latin Americans, low educational level was also associated with violence. Among Moroccans, those who had perceived discrimination showed the greatest differences in prevalence of violence compared with natives. Intimate partner violence (IPV) registered a prevalence of below 2%. As a conclusion, in this study, violence was little reported and higher among immigrants. The principal violence-related factor was discrimination. More studies of this type are called for to characterize the problem in other population-representative samples.

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