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The Impact of Violence against Women on Reproductive Health and Child Mortality in Timor-Leste
Authors: Angela J Taft, Rhonda L Powell, and Lyndsey F Watson
Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(2): 177-81; DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12339
Topic(s): Childhood mortality
Infant mortality
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Maternal health
Reproductive health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2015
Abstract: Objectives: To determine differences in reproductive health and infant and child mortality and health between abused and non-abused ever-married women in Timor-Leste. Methods: Secondary data analysis of Timor-Leste Demographic Health Survey (1,959 ever-married women aged 15-49 years). Associations with violence estimated using multinomial logistic regression adjusted for sociodemographic variables and age of first intercourse. Results: Overall, 45% of ever-married women experienced violence: 34% reported physical only and 11% reported combined physical, sexual and/or emotional violence. Compared to non-abused women, women reporting physical violence only were more likely to use traditional contraception (AdjOR 2.35, 95%CI 1.05-5.26) or report: a sexually transmitted infection (AdjOR 4.46, 95%CI 3.27-6.08); a pregnancy termination (AdjOR 1.42, 95%CI 1.03-1.96); a child who had died (AdjOR 1.30, 95%CI 1.05-1.60), a low birth weight infant (AdjOR 2.08, 95%CI 1.64-2.64); and partially vaccinated children (AdjOR 1.35, 95%CI 1.05-1.74). Women who reported combined abuse were more likely to report: a sexually transmitted infection (AdjOR 3.51, 95%CI 2.26-5.44); a pregnancy termination (AdjOR 1.95, 95%CI 1.27-3.01); few antenatal visits (AdjOR 1.76 95%CI 1.21-2.55); and a child who had died (AdjOR 1.45, 95%CI 1.06-2.00). Conclusions: Violence exposes women to poor reproductive health, infant and child mortality and poor infant and child health. Implications: Preventing and reducing violence against women should improve women and children's health outcomes in Timor-Leste. Keywords: Timor-Leste; infant health; intimate partner violence; maternal health.