IJCRR - Vol 06 Issue 16, August, 2014
Date of Publication: 20-Aug-2014
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PREVALENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HEALTH SEEKING BEHAVIOR AMONG WOMEN IN RURAL COMMUNITY OF PUDUCHERRY - A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY
Author: S. Rajini, C. Kamesh vell, S. Senthil
Abstract:Background: Violence against women is one of the major public health and human rights problem in the world today. Domestic violence refers to the violence emanating from the household and within relationships covered by familial or emotional attachment. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of Domestic Violence among rural women. To find out the type, reasons and help seeking behavior of Domestic Violence. Materials and methods: A Descriptive cross sectional study was undertaken among 380 women in three villages, which comes under the field practice area of Department of Community Medicine, AVMC&H. The prevalence of Domestic Violence (DV) was (200 women) 52.6%, among 380 women who participated in the study. Prevalence of DV was more among 31-40 yrs of age group, 44%, and 95% were Hindus, 83.5% lived in nuclear family, 43% were married for more than 6-10 yrs and 48.5% has 2-3 living children. The study shows that 79.5% of husbands were involved in the act of DV and 52% of the participants reported slapping/kicking/beating are the more common physical act of violence. Regarding the types of injury 63 (31.5%) women had minor injuries, which needed no treatment, 44.5% had pain which lasted for more than one day. It was reported that 65.5% faced DV because of the influence of alcohol by their partners and regarding the help seeking behavior, 35% of them had sought some help and 26% have never told anyone about the incident. Conclusion: These results provide vital information to assess the situation to develop interventions as well as policies and programmes towards preventing domestic violence against women.
Keywords: Domestic violence, prevalence, health seeking behavior, types of violence & women.
According to available statistics from around globe, one out of every 3 women has experienced violence in an inmate relationship at some point of time in her life. In recent years violence against women has emerged as an important social problem in rural India. It has attracted the attention of a wide spectrum of agencies, from health care providers to law enforcement authorities. Domestic violence is a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socio-economic, cultural, racial and class distinctions. Domestic Violence against women is an age old phenomenon. Women always considered weak, vulnerable and in a position to be exploited. Violence IJCRR has long been accepted as something that happens to women. The gender imbalance in Domestic Violence is partly related to differences in physical strength and size. Moreover, women are socialized into their gender roles in different societies throughout the world. (1) Females can suffer from violence throughout their life cycle as fetuses may be aborted just because they are female, infants may be killed just because they are females, girls may be neglected or subjected to various other types of abuse, adolescents may be raped, married women may be beaten, raped or killed by their husbands and widows may be neglected.
The prevalence of domestic violence (DV) in India ranges from 6 percent to 60 percent, (2) with considerable variation across states in different settings. (3,4) In India, few community-based micro level studies (5) are available, which confine to physical violence but evidence on psychological violence and sexual violence is limited.(6) The term domestic violence includes any form of verbal abuse, physical, psychological or sexual violence faced by women.
MATERIALS AND METHOD
The study was a community based cross- sectional descriptive study, done in 3 villages which were randomly selected in Puducherry which comes under the field practice area of Community Medicine, AVMC&H. A houseto- house survey was conducted to all women more than 18 yrs of age, married and having at least one child who were present during the visit were included in the study. The data was collected by the trained paramedical workers by interview method after obtaining oral consent. Houses locked and those not willing to participate were not included in the study. Demographic data including their age, education, social class, religion, type of family, number of married years, occupation of their husband and living children were collected. Other particulars like type of injury, type of violence, help seeking behavior and reasons for the violence were also collected. The data was collected by using a predesigned and pretested questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistical methods.
The study was conducted in three villages and 380 women participated in the study. Among these 380 women, who were interviewed the prevalence of domestic violence was present in 200 women (52.6%). Almost 94.5% were Hindus, 83.5% living in nuclear family, 43% of females were married for more than 6-10yrs and 48.5% had 2-3 living children. Prevalence of Domestic Violence was more (44%) among women in the age group of 31- 40 yrs, followed by < 20yrs (25.5%). Table 1 also shows that prevalence of Domestic Violence were more among females with primary and middle schooling 31.5% and 29% respectively and less (8.5%) among diploma/ graduates. It was also observed that 33% of Domestic Violence cases were with husband who had only middle school education. Even husband with higher education level, 24.5% were involved in the Domestic Violence act. Domestic Violence was reported in 31% and 25.5% of women with their husband’s occupation as agriculture and other coolie laborers respectively. This study shows that mostly husbands (79.5%) were involved in the act Domestic Violence. Table 2 shows the types of violence reported by the respondents. The 52% of the participants reported slapping/kicking/beating were the more common physical act of violence, which was followed by usage of abusive language as 36.5%. Twenty one women (10.5%) reported that they have been threatened by immolation or hanged to death by their husbands. Regarding the types of injury 63 women (31.5%) had minor injuries, which needed no treatment, 44.5% had pain for more than one day and 17% of the females required medical treatment. The participants were asked about the causes which led to the Domestic Violence. It was observed that 131 of the women (65.5%) faced Domestic Violence when their partners were under the influence of alcohol. Other reasons were dominant nature, quarrelsome, extramarital affairs and financial problems, which contributes 12%, 6.5%, 6.5% and 5% respectively as shown in Figure 1. Regarding the help seeking behavior of the women facing Domestic Violence, 35% sought help from any source. Seventy eight women (39%) have told someone and 26% have never told or sought help from anyone regarding the incident (Figure 2).
The actual prevalence of Domestic Violence against women in many countries are not known due to under reporting, as women still consider it to be social stigma.
The present study shows that prevalence of Domestic Violence (52.6%), as in India which is considerably high persisting across all socioeconomic strata. In the study it was also observed that 44% of the participants in the age group of 21-30 yrs experienced Domestic Violence. Similar finding was reported in the study done by Shreemanta kumar et al(7) and Madhutandra sarkar et al(8) that 43% experienced Domestic Violence in the same age group. Maximum prevalence was observed among Hindus (94.5%), 31.5% have done primary schooling and 14.5% been illiterates. No significant association was found with socio-demographic variables like no. of married years, no. of children, and type of family and socio economic status of the family. The present study shows that 79.5% of Domestic Violence was caused by the husbands, which was similar to Madhutandra (72.73%) in his study. one thirty one females (65.5%) reported that the perpetrators were intoxicated during the act of violence. Slapping/kicking/beating were the most common physical assault experienced by 52% of the respondents. Similar finding was reported by the study done by Nair et al in Gujarat (9) and Madhutandra in West Bengal(8) as 80% and 72.73% respectively. Women subjected to verbal abuse and threats by their partners were 36.5% and 10.5% respectively. Dr. shreemanta et al,(7) also observed similar finding in their study at 42% and 8% respectively. The study also showed 44.5% of them who had injuries had pain lasted for more than a day, followed by 31.5% of them having minor injuries. Medical attention/hospitalization was required by 17% of the individuals. More or less similar finding was reported by Shreemanta(7) in his study. The woman who has undergone Domestic Violence, only 35% have sought help from some source and 26% of the respondents have never sought any type of help from anyone. Some of the women (39%) have told someone about the violence. In a study done by VR.S .Kavitha(10) only 23% of the women have sought some help and most (73%) of them have never sought any help. In the present study 65.5% of the women reported that alcohol intoxication was the main reason for the violence, followed by dominant nature of their husband 12%, quarrelsome and extramarital affairs as 6.5% and 6.5% respectively.
Domestic violence is associated with literate level of the females. Most of the females are not aware of their rights. They tend to accept violence as something normal. There is a need for sustained educational campaigns to bring change in the community’s attitudes, particularly those of the females themselves. There is also a need for organizations that would support and victims of the domestic violence with shelter, legal aid and awareness. The women organizations and mass media in the villages should play a more active role in preventing and reducing domestic violence.
Authors are thankful to CRRI students of AVMC&H and Mrs. Kousalya, Non-teaching staff of Department of Community Medicine for their support in data collection & analysis. Authors acknowledge the immense help received from the scholars whose articles are cited and included in references of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful to authors / editors / publishers of all those articles, journals and books from where the literature for this article has been reviewed and discussed.
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