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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 5229-5235

Domestic violence against women: A hidden and deeply rooted health issue in India

1 Deparment of Community Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, West Bengal, India
2 Medical Officer (G&O) Jalpaiguri DH, West Bengal, India
3 Occupational Health Consultant, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shamima Yasmin
Department of Community Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, Midnapore – 721 101, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_506_20

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Background: Domestic violence was identified as a major contributor to the global burden of ill health in terms of female morbidity leading to psychological trauma and depression, injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, and murder. Aims: The study was conducted to find out the prevalence of different types of lifetime domestic violence against women, factors associated with it, and care-seeking behavior. Settings and Design: An observational cross-sectional study conducted at a slum of Burdwan district of West Bengal, India. Methods and Material: Study was done among 320 ever-married women of 15–49 years of age using a predesigned pretested proforma from March 2019 to December 2019 by face-to-face interview. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were compiled and analyzed by EpiInfo 6 and SPSS 20 version. Results and Conclusions: The overall prevalence of any form of violence during the lifetime among the study population was 35.63%. Verbal/psychological violence was the most common form of domestic violence (91.23%) followed by physical (82.46%) and sexual violence (64.91%). Slapping and/or beating, kicking, and object throwing were the major forms of physical violence; humiliation (88.46%) was the commonest form of psychological violence and most common form of sexual violence was forced sexual intercourse (51.35%). About 20% of the study population faced violence every day. Older age, lower age at marriage, longer duration of marriage, lower education of husband and wife, lower family income, unemployment of the husband, and alcohol consumption of husband were associated with the occurrence of domestic violence. We have found that the prevalence of domestic violence in this group of population is high. The alarming issue is that approximately one-third of women (32.46%) who faced violence in their lifetime had never sought any help. The findings indicate to develop appropriate and culturally relevant public health interventions to increase awareness.

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