Qualitative data is now increasingly used within public health research, and domestic violence widely is recognized as a serious public health problem. India is one of the most socio-economically diverse nations in the world, where language, culture and customs differ from place to place within the country. In order to carry out research on domestic violence in a multi-centre cross-cultural environment, it is imperative to pay attention to methodological issues. This paper aims to understand how domestic violence is addressed in research and identifies lessons from the methodological gaps in understanding health research. These gaps are analyzed at four levels; conceptualization, setting, ethics and cross-cultural adaptation of research instruments. The research was a multicentre study covering 18 states of India. A wide range of methods were used to narrow the methodological gaps. Despite the inherent difficulties in defining domestic violence in a cross cultural set up, the paper reflects the cumulative efforts of investigators to recognize and systematically deal with the methodological gap in addressing multi-centre research.