World Health Organization’s Violence Against Women (WHO VAW) study instrument

The World Health Organization’s Violence Against Women (WHO VAW) study instrument uses 13 items to assess the different forms of gender-based violence including psychological, physical, and sexual violence against women perpetrated by intimate partners.


Geographies Tested: Brazil

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Psychological violence

  1. Has he insulted you or made you feel bad about yourself?
  2. Has he belittled or humiliated you in front of other people?
  3. Has he done things to scare or intimidate you on purpose?
  4. Has he threatened to hurt you or someone you care about?

Physical violence

  1. Has he slapped you or thrown something at you that could hurt you?
  2. Has he pushed or shoved you?
  3. Has he hit you with his fist or with something else that could hurt you?
  4. Has he kicked you, dragged you or beaten you up?
  5. Has he choked or burnt you on purpose?
  6. Has he threatened to use or actually used a gun, knife or other weapon against you?

Sexual violence

  1. Has he physically forced you to have sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to?
  2. Did you ever have sexual intercourse when you didn’t want because you were afraid of what he might do?
  3. Has he forced you to do something sexual that you found degrading or humiliating?

Response Options:

Scoring Procedures

Prevalence of each question and mean scores are calculated.

Original Citation

Schraiber, L. B., Latorre, M. D. R. D. O., França Jr, I., Segri, N. J., & d'Oliveira, A. F. P. L. (2010). Validity of the WHO VAW study instrument for estimating gender-based violence against women. Revista de saude publica, 44, 658-666.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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