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Women’s approval of domestic physical violence against wives: analysis of the Ghana demographic and health survey

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      Abstract

      BackgroundIntimate partner violence (IPV) has serious consequences for the physical, psychological, and reproductive and sexual health of women. However, the factors that make women to justify domestic violence against wives in many sub-Saharan African countries have not been explored. This study investigates factors that influence women approval of domestic physical violence among Ghanaian women aged 15–49.MethodA nationally representative sampled data (N = 10,607) collected in the 2003 and 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey were used. Multivariate logistic regression was used to study the associations between women’s economic and socio-demographic characteristics and their approval of domestic physical violence against wives.ResultsWomen aged 25–34 and 15–24 were 1.5 and 1.3 times, respectively, more likely to approve domestic physical violence against wives compared to those aged 35 years and above. Furthermore, women with no education (OR = 3.1, CI = 2.4–3.9), primary education (OR = 2.6, CI = 2.1–3.3) and junior secondary education (OR = 1.8, CI = 1.4–2.2) had higher probability of approving domestic physical violence compared to a woman who had secondary education or higher. Compared to women with Christian belief, Moslems (OR = 1.5, CI = 1.3–1.8) and Traditional believer (OR = 1.7, CI = 1.2–2.4) were more likely to approve domestic physical violence of wives. Women who were in the richest, rich and middle wealth index categories were less likely to approve domestic physical violence of wives compared to the poorest.ConclusionThese findings fill a gap in understanding economic and socio-demographic factors associated with approval of domestic physical violence of wives. Interventions and policies should be geared at contextualizing intimate partner violence in terms of the justification of this behaviour, as this can play an important role in perpetration and victimization.

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      What factors are associated with recent intimate partner violence? findings from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence

      Background Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a global public health and human rights concern. Despite a growing body of research into risk factors for IPV, methodological differences limit the extent to which comparisons can be made between studies. We used data from ten countries included in the WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence to identify factors that are consistently associated with abuse across sites, in order to inform the design of IPV prevention programs. Methods Standardised population-based household surveys were done between 2000 and 2003. One woman aged 15-49 years was randomly selected from each sampled household. Those who had ever had a male partner were asked about their experiences of physically and sexually violent acts. We performed multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of physical and/or sexual partner violence within the past 12 months. Results Despite wide variations in the prevalence of IPV, many factors affected IPV risk similarly across sites. Secondary education, high SES, and formal marriage offered protection, while alcohol abuse, cohabitation, young age, attitudes supportive of wife beating, having outside sexual partners, experiencing childhood abuse, growing up with domestic violence, and experiencing or perpetrating other forms of violence in adulthood, increased the risk of IPV. The strength of the association was greatest when both the woman and her partner had the risk factor. Conclusions IPV prevention programs should increase focus on transforming gender norms and attitudes, addressing childhood abuse, and reducing harmful drinking. Development initiatives to improve access to education for girls and boys may also have an important role in violence prevention.
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        Violence against women: global scope and magnitude.

        An increasing amount of research is beginning to offer a global overview of the extent of violence against women. In this paper we discuss the magnitude of some of the most common and most severe forms of violence against women: intimate partner violence; sexual abuse by non-intimate partners; trafficking, forced prostitution, exploitation of labour, and debt bondage of women and girls; physical and sexual violence against prostitutes; sex selective abortion, female infanticide, and the deliberate neglect of girls; and rape in war. There are many potential perpetrators, including spouses and partners, parents, other family members, neighbours, and men in positions of power or influence. Most forms of violence are not unique incidents but are ongoing, and can even continue for decades. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, violence is almost universally under-reported. Nevertheless, the prevalence of such violence suggests that globally, millions of women are experiencing violence or living with its consequences.
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          Intimate partner violence and physical health consequences.

          Domestic violence results in long-term and immediate health problems. This study compared selected physical health problems of abused and never abused women with similar access to health care. A case-control study of enrollees in a multisite metropolitan health maintenance organization sampled 2535 women enrollees aged 21 to 55 years who responded to an invitation to participate; 447 (18%) could not be contacted, 7 (0.3%) were ineligible, and 76 (3%) refused, yielding a sample of 2005. The Abuse Assessment Screen identified women physically and/or sexually abused between January 1, 1989, and December 31, 1997, resulting in 201 cases. The 240 controls were a random sample of never abused women. The general health perceptions subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey measured general health. The Miller Abuse Physical Symptom and Injury Scale measured abuse-specific health problems. Cases and controls differed in ethnicity, marital status, educational level, and income. Direct weights were used to standardize for comparisons. Significance was tested using logistic and negative binomial regressions. Abused women had more (P<.05) headaches, back pain, sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal bleeding, vaginal infections, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, urinary tract infections, appetite loss, abdominal pain, and digestive problems. Abused women also had more (P< or =.001) gynecological, chronic stress-related, central nervous system, and total health problems. Abused women have a 50% to 70% increase in gynecological, central nervous system, and stress-related problems, with women sexually and physically abused most likely to report problems. Routine universal screening and sensitive in-depth assessment of women presenting with frequent gynecological, chronic stress-related, or central nervous system complaints are needed to support disclosure of domestic violence.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]Department of Population and Health, University of Cape Coast, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, Cape Coast, Ghana
            [ ]University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
            Contributors
            dokudavid@gmail.com
            kwappong@gmail.com
            Journal
            BMC Womens Health
            BMC Womens Health
            BMC Women's Health
            BioMed Central (London )
            1472-6874
            21 December 2015
            21 December 2015
            2015
            : 15
            4687112
            276
            10.1186/s12905-015-0276-0
            © Doku and Asante. 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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            © The Author(s) 2015

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