News related to Science, Technology, Environment, Agriculture and Medicine in India

Spousal Violence Affects Reproductive Health

Violence against women by their spouses is not only a serious instance of human rights abuse but is also a public health concern. Recently, Mahadev Bramhankar and R S Reshmi from the International Institute for Population Sciences , Mumbai assessed how various types of spousal violence in India impact reproductive health.

They analysed data from the National Family Health Survey 2015–16 for associations between physical, sexual and emotional violence against women by their spouse and reproductive outcomes. The data contained responses from nearly 62,000 women and the survey questionnaire covered the issue of spousal violence.

The duo also extracted data of women who had a pregnancy in the previous five years. Using bivariate descriptive analysis and multiple regression analysis, they investigated any possible connections between spousal violence and pregnancy outcomes.

They found that one in three women in India experience spousal violence, corroborating data from earlier studies on the topic. In some states such as Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, the rates were lower than 20 per cent whereas, in some others, such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh Telangana and Bihar, the rates were between 40 to 55 per cent.

The physical and sexual violence experienced by women was found to have a significant impact on unwanted pregnancies, abortions and miscarriages.

“Sexual violence is correlated with 77 per cent higher risk of sexually transmitted infections among battered women”, says Mahadev Bramhankar, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.

“The risk of prolonged labour during pregnancy also correlates with physical, sexual and emotional violence”, adds R. S. Reshmi, IIPS, Mumbai.

Spousal violence adversely affects pregnancy outcomes and reproductive health. Preventing physical, emotional and sexual violence can improve maternal health and pregnancy outcomes in India. 

Traditional practises such as sati could be stopped through politico-legal action. Policies now need to be formulated to reduce the evils of dowry and violence against women.

DOI: 10.1186/s12905-021-01515-x

Khuban Buch
SKUAST-K

STEAMindiaReports: Research news that Indian media can use

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Categorised in: Behavioural science, Epidemiology, Madhya Pradesh

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