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Intimate partner violence against women in Nigeria: a multi-level study investigating the effect of women’s status and community norms
Authors: Faith Owunari Benebo, Barbara Schumann, and Masoud Vaezghasemi
Source: BMC Women's Health, 18(1):136; DOI: 10.1186/s12905-018-0628-7
Topic(s): Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Women's status
Country: Africa
Published: AUG 2018
Abstract: Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women has been recognised as a public health problem with far-reaching consequences for the physical, reproductive, and mental health of women. The ecological framework portrays intimate partner violence as a multifaceted phenomenon, demonstrating the interplay of factors at different levels: individual, community, and the larger society. The present study examined the effect of individual- and community-level factors on IPV in Nigeria, with a focus on women’s status and community-level norms among men. Methods: A cross-sectional study based on the latest Nigerian Demographic Health Survey (2013) was conducted involving 20,802 ever-partnered women aged 15–49 years. Several multilevel logistic regression models were calibrated to assess the association of individual- and community-level factors with IPV. Both measures of association (fixed effect) and measures of variations (random effect) were reported. Results: Almost one in four women in Nigeria reported having ever experienced intimate partner violence. Having adjusted for other relevant covariates, higher women's status reduced the odds of IPV (OR = 0.47; 95% CI = 0. 32–0.71). However, community norms among men that justified IPV against women modified the observed protective effect of higher women's status against IPV and reversed the odds (OR = 1.89; 95% CI = 1.26–2.83). Conclusions: Besides women’s status, community norms towards IPV are an important factor for the occurrence of IPV. Thus, addressing intimate partner violence against women calls for community-wide approaches aimed at changing norms among men alongside improving women’s status. Keywords: Intimate partner violence, women’s status, Community norms, Multilevel analysis, Nigeria