Intimate partner violence (IPV) is exceedingly common in conflict and post-conflict settings. We first seek to describe factors associated with past 12 month IPV amongst currently married women in Afghanistan, focused on the factors typically assumed to drive IPV. Second, to describe whether IPV is independently associated with a range of health outcomes.
Cross-sectional analysis of currently married Afghan women, comprising the baseline study of a trial to prevent IPV. We use multinomial regression, reporting adjusted relative-risk ratios to model factors associated with the different forms of IPV, comparing no IPV, emotional IPV only, and physical IPV and emotional IPV. Second we assessed whether experience of emotional IPV, and physical IPV, were independently associated with health outcomes, reporting adjusted ß coefficients and adjusted odds ratios as appropriate.
Nine hundred thirty five currently married women were recruited, 11.8% experienced only emotional IPV and 23.1% experienced physical and emotional IPV. Emotional IPV only was associated with attending a women’s group, greater food insecurity, her husband having more than one wife, experiencing other forms of family violence, and more inequitable community gender norms. Experiencing both physical IPV and emotional IPV was associated with attending a women’s group, more childhood trauma, husband cruelty, her husband having more than one wife, experiencing other forms of family violence, more inequitable community gender norms, and greater reported disability. Emotional IPV and physical IPV were independently associated with worse health outcomes.
IPV remains common in Afghanistan. Economic interventions for women alone are unlikely to prevent IPV and potentially may increase IPV. Economic interventions need to also work with husbands and families, and work to transform community level gender norms.
NCT03236948. Registered 28 July 2017, retrospectively registered.