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PA 19-6-1973 Spousal intimate partner violence higher in less developed states in india
  1. G Anil Kumar1,
  2. Rakhi Dandona1,2,
  3. Amit Kumar1,
  4. Lalit Dandona1,2
  1. 1Public Health Foundation of India, Gurugram, National Capital Region, India
  2. 2Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is considered an important preventable public health problem globally. We assessed the prevalence of spousal IPV ever defined as any act of physical, sexual or emotional abuse in currently married women in India. Publicly available data from the latest round of Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2015–16 in India were utilised for this analysis. Currently married women aged 15–49 years provided data for the violence module. We estimated the prevalence of spousal IPV ever for India, the states grouped as more and less developed, and by the household wealth index of the women. A total of 65 536 currently married women were selected for the violence module of whom 62 716 (95.7%) provided interview. The spousal IPV ever prevalence in India was 31.3 (95% CI 30.9–31.7) per 1 00 000 women, and was significantly higher in less developed states (34.5, 95% CI 34.1–35.0) as compared with the developed states (26.7, 95% CI 26.2–27.3). The prevalence of spousal physical violence ever was (27.8, 95% CI 27.5–28.2), followed by emotional abuse (12.1, 95% CI 11.9–12.4) and sexual abuse (6.4, 95% CI 6.2–6.6). Emotional abuse prevalence was similar in less and more developed states, but prevalence of physical violence and sexual abuse was 1.5 times more in the less developed states. The sexual IPV ever prevalence was 2.3 and 2.8 times higher, and that of emotional IPV ever was 1.4 and 2.4 times higher in the women belonging to the lowest wealth index quintile as compared with those in the highest quintile in the least and most developed states, respectively. Women belonging to lowest socio-economic strata, and those in less developed states suffer most spousal IPV in India. Public health interventions targeting these women are urgently needed.

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