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Women's attitude towards wife-beating and its relationship with reproductive healthcare seeking behavior: A countrywide population survey in Bangladesh
Authors: Khan MN, and Islam MM
Source: PLOS ONE , 13(6):e0198833; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198833
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Delivery care
Health care utilization
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Maternal health
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health problem that has substantial consequences on the physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health of women. This study examined the association between women's attitudes towards wife-beating and their utilization of reproductive healthcare services. METHOD: Two waves of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data were analyzed using multivariate regression. Outcome variables were a set of reproductive healthcare services, namely contraception use, modern contraception use, antenatal visit by skilled health professionals (SHP), delivery in healthcare facilities, delivery by SHP and postnatal check up by SHP. Attitudes towards abuse were assessed by a set of five questions that asked the situation under which 'hitting or beating' one's wife is justifiable. RESULTS: Around 32% of the participants reported that hitting or beating wife by husband was justified in certain situations. There is a gradient in the relationship between number of healthcare services accessed and number of situations justified for beating wife. Women who strongly reject the justification of wife beating were more likely than those who reject that weakly to report contraception use, antenatal care by SHP, delivery in healthcare facilities, delivery care by SHP, and postnatal care by SHP. CONCLUSIONS: Women's attitudes towards 'wife beating' have a significant association with reproductive healthcare seeking behavior. The impact of this malpractice on women's health and consequences thereafter need to be brought in the forefront of public health campaign.