Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

A cross sectional descriptive study was done of 373 women who attended the antenatal clinic and welfare units of a primary health center in Ile-Ife. The objective of this study was to determine, among a sample of women attending a primary health center in Ile-Ife, the socio-demographic factors associated with intimate partner violence.

Respondents were aged 18-37 years; the majority of them (73.8%) were aged 21-30 years (mean age was 24.9 ± 4.09). Three quarters (73.5%) were married in a monogamous setting and well over half (60.1%) were employed. The prevalence of intimate partner violence in the previous twelve months was 36.7%. Significant socio-demographic correlates of intimate partner violence were the age of the respondents (younger), marital status (single and separated), marriage type (polygamous), employment (being employed), level of education (secondary school education) and having children. Also, Respondent's and partner's use of alcohol were significantly associated with intimate partner violence.

Key words: Intimate Partner Violence, socio-demographic factors, Primary health care.

Background

Intimate Partner Violence is a widespread medical, psychological, social, and public health problem (Koziol-McLain, Coates, 8c Lowenstein, 2001). Domestic and intimate partner violence includes physical and sexual attacks against women in the home, within the family or within an intimate relationship. Women are more at risk of experiencing violence in intimate relationships than anywhere else. In no country in the world are women safe from this type of violence (Garcia- Moreno, 2005). Globally, domestic violence appears to exist in a "culture of silence" and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse at every level of the society, (Aderinto, 2003). Violence against women is a major social problem in Nigeria, yet research on the determinants, prevention, and solutions is still in its early stage in the Nigerian environment. The objective of this study was to determine, among a sample of women attending a primary health center in Ile-Ife, the socio-demographic factors associated with intimate partner violence.

The prevalence of IPV varies worldwide; the 2002 World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that between 10% and 69% of women report a life time experience of some form of physical violence by their partners (WHO, 2002). In the developed world, an estimated 28% of all women report at least one episode of physical abuse (Hegarty and Roberts, 1998) whereas in developing countries, studies indicate a prevalence ranging from 18 - 67% (Coker and Richter, 1998; WHO, 1996).

Estimates of the prevalence of IPV in patients attending primary care practices range from 12 - 29% (Hamberger, Saunders and Honey, 1993; Elliot and Johnson, 1995). The life time prevalence in primary practice settings ranges from 20 - 39%. Rath, Jarrat and Leonardson (1989) found that 44% of battered women in two urban primary care practices had experienced minor physical abuse and 28% had experienced severe physical abuse. One study done in a Primary Health Centre in the South Eastern part of Nigeria quoted a one year prevalence of 46% (IIiaka, Okonkwo and Adoju, 2002).

RISK FACTORS FOR IPV

Literature has continuously shown that IPV has widespread consequences which spread beyond the physical into the psychological and social arena and out of the immediate into the long term arena. It then becomes important to establish the associated positive correlates of IPV to enable care givers to identify and respond to abused women. Jewkes, Lewin and Penn - Kekana (2002) found that domestic violence positively correlated with violence in childhood, low level of education, alcohol use, spousal boy child preference, conflict over spousal drinking, and frequent conflicts generally. The researchers however found no significant association between IPV and the partner's ages, employment, migrant status and marital status. …

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