Journal Article

Determinants of marital violence: Findings from a prospective study of rural women in India

Substantial proportions of married women in India report experiencing physical and sexual violence within their households. Most studies examining the risk and protective factors of marital violence have used crosssectional data to understand the determinants of physical and sexual marital violence. To identify determinants of recent experiences of physical and sexual marital violence, this survey collected data from 4,880 rural women of four states—Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Bihar—drawn from the National Family Health Survey-2 conducted in 1998-99 and a follow-up study for a subgroup of women carried out in 2002-03. The findings underscore the need to support programmes that aim to increase the education level of women and girls, make parents aware of the effects parental violence has on their children’s well-being and improve married women’s financial autonomy by increasing their financial literacy and awareness regarding various savings and asset-building options. Further, programmes and laws targeting dowry exchange and alcohol consumption need to be simultaneously developed.