Intimate partner violence: prevalence, contributing factors and spectrum among married couples in Southeast Nigeria

Anolue F. C., Uzoma O. I., Uzoma O. I.


Intimate partner violence is a globally acknowledged public health problem. Violence against women is unsurprisingly common albeit under reported in both developing and developed nations. It impacts the physical and mental health of affected women adversely. Even though it appears in different forms it is a malady that deserves increased attention. It is a social menace that is common in Africa with Nigeria being no exception. This study sets out to determine its prevalence, contributing factors and the spectrum of violence against married women in Southeast Nigeria.
Materials and Methods
A cross sectional study of prospectively consenting women within a community based setting was done in Orlu, Nigeria during a period between 1st August to 31st August 2016. A total of 695 respondents were initially recruited and given structured questionnaires, of this number 13 failed to answer questions on intimate partner violence and hence were excluded, thus the final study population was actually 682.
Using a 95% confidence interval, 5% margin of error, population proportion of 0.5, the minimum sample size was calculated as 384 using the Cochran’s formula for sample size. The data was then analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.

A total of 682 (100%) respondents met the criteria for the study, of this number 382 (56%) had experienced some form of IPV while 300 (44%) had not. The factor most frequently associated with abusive behavior was financial requests/constraints accounting for 123 cases (32.2%). Injuries were sustained by 130 women (34%) with 66 of them suffering miscarriages (17.28%). Two hundred and twenty four women (32.8%) had experienced only one form of abuse while 158 (23.17%) reported multiple forms of abuse. Intimate partner violence was most prevalent among women within the 25 – 34 years age range constituting a total of 170 (44.5%) cases of abuse. Those married women with only primary education were the subset of the study population that had the greatest number of abused women; 138 cases (38.1%).

Intimate partner violence is a pervasive problem in Nigeria with a prevalence of 56% in this study. Various factors particularly financial constraints, incitement, alcoholism and substance abuse were contributing factors in cases of IPV. Intimate partner violence may appear as a single form or as multiple forms of abuse.



Abuse, Coercion, Depression, Intimate partner violence, Marital rape

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