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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 150  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 525-531

Public health impact of marital violence against women in India


Center on Gender Equity & Health, School of Medicine; Department of Education Studies, Division of Social Sciences, University of California San Diego, San Diego, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr Anita Raj
Center on Gender Equity & Health, School of Medicine & Department of Education Studies, Division of Social Sciences, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1427_19

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The public health ramifications of marital violence are well documented and include injury, mental health concerns and physical health consequences for women and their offspring. Unfortunately, there remains social tolerance and even acceptance of these abuses against women, and health systems in India have done little to support victims despite their greater health risks. However, there are promising efforts and important advancements in India that could be built on for more effective prevention and support for women. Men and boys should be engaged in gender transformative interventions with male role models to alter men's attitudes of acceptability of and justification for marital violence and consequently their actual abusive behaviours. Given the strong demonstrated connection between men's risky and problem alcohol use and marital violence, alcohol interventions may also be beneficial. We must support women and girls vulnerable to marital violence, a group disproportionately affected by violence in their natal families as well, so they know that violence need not be part of their marriage relationship, and have skills on how to engage and communicate with or even leave their male partners to reduce their risk for violence. Formal services should be expanded for those in immediate danger and particularly for rural areas, where prevalence of marital violence is highest and supports are weakest. Finally, given the pervasiveness of attitudes accepting husbands' marital violence against women, and the fact that these have remained largely unchanged in India for a decade, large scale community and social change efforts are needed.


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