Married Women's Justification of Intimate Partner Violence in Bangladesh: Examining Community Norm and Individual-Level Risk Factors

Syeda S Jesmin
Violence and Victims 2015, 30 (6): 984-1003
One-third of the women worldwide experience intimate partner violence (IPV) that increases their vulnerability to both short- and long-term physical, sexual, reproductive, and mental health problems. Surprisingly, IPV is justified by many women globally. Although the IPV literature to date is mostly focused on risk factors associated with actual occurrences, little is known on attitudinal acceptance of such violence. Also, despite the growing scholarship of community influence and health link, IPV research has relatively overlooked the effects of norms at the community level. Using a representative national sample of 13,611 married women in Bangladesh, this study examined the association of community attitudes and women's individual attitudes toward wife beating. The results revealed that women living in communities with permissive attitudes toward wife beating were more likely to justify husbands' beating (OR=4.5). Women married at a younger age, who had less than primary-level education, lived in households categorized as poor or middle class, and did not consume media appeared to be at higher risk for justifying wife beating. This research adds to a growing research body on community influences on health by examining IPV attitudes and community norms link.

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