ECU research addresses domestic violence in India

Dr. Sitawa R. Kimuna
(Contributed photos)

An article published by East Carolina University sociology professor Dr. Sitawa R. Kimuna, with co-authors including ECU sociology master’s degree graduate Gabrielle Circiurkaite, presents findings critical to current discussions of domestic violence in India.

The research addresses causes for violence against women in the culture of India, of particular interest since a young woman was brutally raped last month on a bus in New Delhi. The woman died from injuries received in the attack and her experience triggered national outrage over women’s rights.

Males dominate females through “superior rights, privileges, authority and power,” the study said. That power draws from cultural acceptance by both men and women of male dominance of females through violence.

ECU graduate Gabrielle Circiurkaite

Because cultural norms and gender role conditioning play a large role in violence against women in India, the study suggests that interventions move beyond institutional and legal avenues to address relevant cultural issues.

The article, “Domestic Violence in India: Insights from the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey” was published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence “OnlineFirst.” Full text of the article is available at

Circiurkaite is now in the Ph.D. program in sociology at the University of Kentucky.

For more details about Kimuna, visit