Domestic violence is one of the most significant global health issues affecting women globally. Domestic violence is not only a public health concern, but also a major violation of women’s rights and thus should be curbed. The estimates given by the World Health Organization indicate that almost thirty-five percent of women global experience either sexual or physical abuse from their intimate partners. According to Burman et al. (2017), the primary determinants of domestic violence remain complex due to the substantial misinformation and confusion within the public debates. The typical argument, however, is that the principal causes of domestic violence include gender inequalities, authority imbalances and the controlling patterns and behaviors in relationships. When using women who are subjects of domestic violence as participants in a research study, it is essential that research ethics are upheld to boost efficiency. Some of the significant ethical issues found at the initial stages of conducting such research include respect for confidentiality and anonymity, respect for privacy, beneficence and informed consent.
When using women that fall victims of domestic violence as the subjects in a research study, an informed consent must be obtained. The informed consent is significant before the enrolment of a participant and during an ongoing research procedure. The informed consent tells the participants about their rights, the goal of the study, the processes involved as well as the potential benefits and risks of participating in that particular research study (Gelles, 2017). The primary goal of informed consent is to present adequate information such that a subject makes informed decisions regarding whether or not to participate in a study. Participants in a research operation should, therefore, operate willingly, and women as a component of the vulnerable population must be given extra protection measures. The informed consent is outlined in the ethical regulations and codes for human participants research. The informed consent formal document should be presented in a language that these women can easily comprehend. The document should also be set in a way that minimizes the chances of coercion or undue impact, and these women participants should be given adequate time-frame to consider their participation.
Various research procedures have different risks, and thus the review and approval systems should adapt to the relevant questions asked and the nature of the research study to minimize the risks. Some of these risks are social, legal, psychological and physical. It is the duty of the researcher, therefore, to ensure that they minimize these risks to boost efficiency and curb conflicts. As postulated by LaRossa et al. (2018), women as subjects of a research study should be protected by upholding confidentiality to boost their safety or curb further attacks from their intimate partners in case they find out. Researchers should also ensure that they conduct research studies that are approved by the Institute Review Board’s guidelines. Some of the information that the researcher should give the participants to provide informed and voluntary consent include their rights, the potential risks, and benefits, the identity of the research as well as their affiliations and the procedures of disseminating the results from that particular study.
The benefits of conducting a research study using women that are victims of domestic violence as the participants outweigh the risks. Such an investigation not only creates awareness regarding domestic violence but is also grants such women the chance to express themselves and seek help from the relevant authorities. Conducting such a study also helps the appropriate governing bodies formulate strategies of curbing the issue of domestic violence which is a global concern.
Burman, M. J., Batchelor, S. A., & Brown, J. A. (2017). Researching girls and violence: Facing
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Gelles, R. J. (2017). Methodological issues in the study of family violence. In Physical violence
in American families (pp. 17-28). Routledge.
LaRossa, R., & Bennett, L. A. (2018). Ethical dilemmas in qualitative family research. In The
psychosocial interior of the family (pp. 139-156). Routledge.