Community Prevalence and Risk Factors for Psychological Abuse in India
Keywords:Alcoholism, Culture, Dowry, Education, Psychological violence
Violence against women has been recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental violation of women’s human rights. Although there is a good amount of research on physical violence, very little on psychological abuse from Indian researchers. In India too, domestic violence is prevalent in all sections of the community. The objectives of the study are to find the prevalence of psychological abuse in different stratum in India and the risk factors of psychological violence. A cross-sectional study based on 9938 women in rural, urban, and urban non-slum sites across India was conducted in 1998–1999. Logistic regression was done to find the risk factors of psychological violence. Despite the limitations of the 9426 women responded psychological violence, 3306 (35.1%) (95%CI: 23.1, 47.0) reported any psychological abuse in the past 1 year. The women who had lower education, from lower socioeconomic status (SES) and whose mothers-in-law not satisfied with dowry had higher risk for psychological abuse. There was a synergistic effect in psychological abuse if the woman is from low SES and the husband is an alcoholic and the risk is 7.4 times higher as compared to women who did not have both. However, alcoholism had significant independent effect when this was interacted with satisfaction of dowry. We suggest that the families should avoid asking and giving dowries. Besides these, the newly married women should be counseled to handle the conflicts at the family level so that the physical and psychological abuses can be avoided.
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