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Intimate partner violence: the silent burden in Sri Lankan women
  1. CG Kohombange
  1. Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Abstract

    Introduction Intimate partner violence is one of the commonest forms of violence against women worldwide which continues to be a global burden. In Sri Lanka a proper legal framework has been formed for the safety of women by ‘The domestic violence act‘ passed in 2005.Nevertheless there is no evidence on the extent of the burden in Sri Lanka.

    Objective To determine the frequency of abuse, injury patterns and associated factors contributing to physical abuse in women.

    Methodology A cross sectional study was performed at the accident service of national hospital Sri Lanka using an interviewer administered questionnaire.

    Results Out of 400 abused women(mean age 21±3), 233(58.25%) abused >5 times. Out of all 98(24.5%) had facial injuries, 165(41.25%) had injuries in upper limbs. Out of all batterers 304(76%) consumed alcohol regularly. Significantly higher prevalence was observed among those who had married before the age of 20 years (p<0.001), lack of formal education, (p<0.05),>two children (p<0.05), lived with mothers in law (p<0.05) and alcohol consumption of the batterers (p<0.001).

    Significance Probability of a woman being abused more than five times was high. Facial injuries were common. Younger age at marriage, having more children, low level of education, extended families and alcohol consumption of the batterer were significantly associated with intimate partner violence. Discouraging underage marriages encourage family planning, improvement of education opportunities, prevention of regular alcohol consumption and enforcement of laws will be recommended to reduce the burden.

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