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Spousal violence against women and its consequences on pregnancy outcomes and reproductive health of women in India
Authors: Mahadev Bramhankar, R. S. Reshmi
Source: BMC Women's Health, Volume 21, article number: 382; DOI:
Topic(s): Pregnancy outcomes
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2021
Abstract: Background: Globally, one in three women experienced domestic violence. Alike the scenario observed in India, and a very few studies talk about violence and its consequences on women's health. Hence, the purpose of this study is to access the level of various types of spousal violence in India and to understand the association between physical, sexual and emotional violence against ever-married women by their husbands. The study further examines the consequences of spousal violence on women's health in terms of adverse pregnancy outcomes and reproductive health in India. Methods: The study uses secondary data from National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4, 2015–16). The analysis was based on a sample of ever-married women aged 15–49 years. Bivariate descriptive analysis and multiple regression analyses have been carried out to understand the association between spousal violence and its consequences on women's health. Results: The study finds that the physical, sexual and emotional violence experienced by ever-married women in India are 29.8%, 13.8% and 7.0%, respectively. Further, the physical and sexual violence experienced by women have a significant association with an unwanted pregnancy, abortion, miscarriages and ever had termination of pregnancies. The regression analysis shows that violence by sexual partners among battered women increased the likelihood of unwanted pregnancy. Similarly, abortion and ever had a termination of pregnancies are also adversely affected by partner violence. Further, the risk of sexually transmitted infection increases 77% by sexual violence and 44% by emotional violence among battered women. Also, Sexual violence substantially increases the risk of prolonged labour during pregnancy. Conclusion: This study revealed that one in three women experiencing violence by their husband and also it is evident that various forms of spousal violence adversely affect pregnancies outcomes and reproductive health among battered women compared to not battered.