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Prevalence and risk factors of physical violence against husbands: evidence from India
Authors: Aparajita Chattopadhyay, Santosh Kumar Sharma, Deepanjali Vishwakarma, and Suresh Jungari
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 2023, pages 1-21; DOI: doi:10.1017/S0021932023000196
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Men's health
Country: Asia
Published: OCT 2023
Abstract: As the proportion of women being victims of spousal violence in India is higher than men, laws are usually framed to safeguard women. However, men who have experienced physical spousal violence are not unheard of. The study aims to provide the nationwide prevalence of physical violence against husbands and the risk factors for such violence, using large-scale nationally representative ‘National Family Health Survey’ (NFHS 4) data. The study used descriptive, bivariate, logistic, and multilevel regression models with a random intercept clustering within states and households to explain the physical violence against husband. Sample size for the analysis was 62,716 currently married women aged 15–49 years. Findings revealed that in most of the states of India, physical spousal violence has increased over time. Behavioural characteristics like marital control, alcoholism, and childhood experience of parental violence have a consistent and strong role in explaining the experience of physical violence across states. With age, experience of violence against husbands increases. Differences in socio-economic characteristics do not have unidirectional effect on violence experienced by husbands across regions of India. Working women who are earning cash and having access to mobile phones perpetrate more physical violence in selected regions. Education shows a gradient on such violence perpetration, indicating that only after achieving a certain level of education, chances of violence reduce. Regionally contrasting social and economic risk factors in explaining violence strengthen the argument that violence is space and culture-specific, and development alone may not resolve violence unless the system is addressing the behavioural aspects. There is a need for supporting men experiencing domestic violence within the existing system facilities. Revisiting the present domestic violence laws and programmes for inclusivity is the need of the hour.