|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 425-428
Study of intimate partner violence against women in an urban locality of Pune
Kevin Fernandez, Dhrubajyoti J Debnath
Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune, India
|Date of Web Publication||25-Jun-2014|
Dhrubajyoti J Debnath
Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune - 411 041, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Intimate partner violence against women has an adverse effect on the health of women. Aims: To estimate the proportion of physical, emotional, economical and sexual violence against women by the husband (intimate partner) and to identify factors that may put women at risk of violence by their husbands. Setting and Design: Cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A convenience consecutive sample of 369 married women (18-49 years age) attending the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Urban Health Training Centre (UHTC) of a Medical College in Pune was interviewed using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire after obtaining informed consent. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi square test and Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to identify the risk factors. Results: Almost half of the study sample had experienced some form of violence. The associated factors with intimate partner violence were drinking alcohol by husband (OR = 4.54, 95% CI = 2.52, 8.18, P < 0.001), aggressive nature of husband (OR = 11.81, 95% CI = 3.53, 39.47, P < 0.001) and family history of domestic violence (OR = 11.0, 95% CI = 3.83, 31.63, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Intimate partner violence was high in our study. Risk factors for domestic violence were alcohol use by husband, aggressive nature of husband and family history of domestic violence.
Keywords: Domestic, intimate partner, violence
|How to cite this article:|
Fernandez K, Debnath DJ. Study of intimate partner violence against women in an urban locality of Pune. Med J DY Patil Univ 2014;7:425-8
| Introduction|| |
On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defined what constitutes discrimination against women and set up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.  The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993 stated that the human rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights, and the international community officially recognized violence against women as a human rights violation, and the same year the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW). The DEVAW Preamble paragraph 6 states that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men. , The NFHS-3 (2005-06) reported that in India, 40% of ever-married women aged 15-49 years have experienced spousal physical, sexual or emotional violence. 
Against the above background, the present study was conducted to estimate the proportion of physical, emotional, economical and sexual violence against women by the husband (intimate partner) and to identify factors that may put women at risk of violence by their husbands.
| Materials and Methods|| |
This was an observational cross-sectional study. The study population consisted of married women (18-49 years age) attending the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Urban Health Training Centre (UHTC) of a Medical College in Pune. Informed consent was taken from the women before their enrolment in the study. The sample size was calculated as 369 using the Epi Info 3.5.3 StatCalc with expected frequency of 40% and confidence limits of 5%. Three hundred and sixty-nine women were interviewed using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire ensuring adequate privacy. Data collection began from March 2012 till the sample size was achieved. For the purpose of the study, intimate partner was defined as husband. Inclusion criteria were married women in the age group of 18-49 years age attending the OPD at the UHTC and women giving informed consent for participation in the study. Exclusion criteria were women not giving informed consent, unmarried women and women aged <18 or >49 years.
The definitions of physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence and economic violence were adapted from the WHO and UNICEF documents. ,
For physical violence, women were asked whether her husband had ever:
- Slapped her or thrown something at her that could hurt her;
- Pushed or shoved her;
- Hit her with a fist or something else that could hurt;
- Kicked, dragged or beaten her up;
- Choked or burnt her on purpose;
- Threatened her with, or actually used a gun, knife or other weapon against her.
Sexual violence was defined as whether her husband had:
- Physically forced her to have sexual intercourse against her will;
- Forced to do something sexual she found degrading or humiliating.
Emotional violence by a husband in this study included the following:
- Being insulted or made to feel bad about oneself;
- Being humiliated or belittled in front of others;
- Being intimidated or scared on purpose (for example, by a partner yelling and smashing things);
- Being threatened with harm (directly or indirectly in the form of a threat to hurt someone the respondent cared about).
Economic violence included the acts such as:
- The denial of funds,
- Refusal to contribute financially,
- Denial of food and basic needs.
Statistical Analysis Used
The data were entered in Microsoft Office Excel and analyzed using Epi Info 7. Chi square test and Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to identify the risk factors.
| Results|| |
Age distribution of the study subjects: Majority, 69.3% (256/369), of the study subjects were in the age bracket of 18-29 years, as shown in [Table 1].
Different forms of violence faced by the study participants: About 30% of the study subjects had experienced physical, emotional or economic violence from their husbands, while 8.1% reported having faced sexual violence [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]. Almost 50% (184/369) had faced some or the other form of violence [Table 6].
Association between alcohol intake by husband and intimate partner violence: This is shown in [Table 7]. Husbands habituated to alcohol were more than four-times more likely to inflict intimate violence on their wives; OR = 4.54, 95% CI of Odds ratio = 2.52 to 8.18.
|Table 7: Association between drinking alcohol by husband and any form of intimate partner violence|
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Association between aggressive nature of husband and domestic violence: There was a positive significant association between aggressive nature of husband as manifested by aggression toward other men and domestic violence [Table 8].
|Table 8: Association between physical aggression toward other men by the husband and intimate partner violence|
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Association between wife's family history of domestic violence and her experiencing the same: [Table 9] shows a strong relationship between the wife having seen domestic violence in her ancestral home and her being a victim of intimate partner violence.
|Table 9: Association between history of violence in wife's family when she grew up and intimate partner violence|
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| Discussion|| |
Spousal physical violence in our study was 30.4%, which means that these women have an adverse physical well being. 8.1% women had reported spousal sexual violence. The emotional and economic violence were 30.4% and 32.8%, respectively. This shows that these women cannot enjoy their good health due to violence. The reported physical or emotional or sexual or economic violence by the intimate partner (husband) in our study was 49.9%. Such a high magnitude is of public health concern. These women are deprived of their human rights at home.
The NFHS-3 found that 40% of ever-married women have experienced spousal physical, sexual or emotional violence.  In a study conducted in Karnataka, of the 208 cases studied, 94% reported physical violence, 75% reported forms of mental and psychological violence, 24% reported acts of cruelty and torture, 12% reported abuse of loved ones and 5% reported abuse from in-laws.  In our study, spousal violence in any form and drinking alcohol by husband had a statistically highly significant association. A similar finding was observed by a study conducted in a slum area of Kolkata city where domestic violence was observed significantly more when husbands had alcohol addiction.  Also, in a study to estimate the prevalence of intimate partner violence and alcohol consumption during episodes of violence, it was found that episodes of violence reported were four-times more frequent in intoxicated men.  It was also seen that history of violence in family where the wife grew up had a highly significant intimate partner (spousal) violence. A similar finding was observed in a study carried out in Brazil, where conjugal physical violence between the women's parents was one of the associated factors with intimate partner violence.  Perhaps, these early childhood experiences program a woman to a higher tolerance level from her intimate partner, making her vulnerable to domestic violence. In our study, it was also seen that women whose husbands were physically aggressive toward other men reported higher episodes of intimate partner violence. Aggression in patriarchal societies such as ours may manifest in behaviors conducive to domestic violence.
This study, with all its limitations such as convenience and consecutive sampling, limited sample size for exploring most of the risk factors, self-reported measurement of violence, etc, has brought out the fact that intimate partner violence is highly prevalent in our society, with about half of the study participants having experienced some form of violence from their husbands. This is of high concern. We could also demonstrate the inter-generational effect of conditioning in our study wherein the girl child who has seen violence between her parents is at significant risk of suffering from the same trauma.
Based on the findings of our study, we recommend marital counseling of both partners to prevent intimate partner violence. Also, because alcohol consumption by husband and physical aggression of husband toward other men were highly significant risk factors for intimate partner violence, these issues need a targeted and high-risk approach.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9]