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Household exposure to violence and human rights violations in western Bangladesh (II): history of torture and other traumatic experience of violence and functional assessment of victims

Author(s): Wang Shr-Jie | Haque Mohammad | Masum Saber-ud-Daula | Biswas Shuvodwip | Modvig Jens

Journal: BMC International Health and Human Rights
ISSN 1472-698X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Organised crime and political violence (OPV) and human rights violations have marred Bangladesh history since 1971. Little is known about the consequences for the oppressed population. This study describes the patterns of OPV and human rights violations in a disturbed area of Bangladesh and assesses the physical, emotional and social functioning of victims. Methods A total of 236 of selected participants in a household survey in Meherpur district were recruited for a detailed study. Interviews and physical examinations were used to obtain information about history of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (TCIDTP), and about injuries, pain frequency and intensity. Handgrip strength and standing balance performance were measured. The "WHO-5 Well-being" scale was used to assess the subjective emotional well-being of study participants. Results The majority of the reported cases of TCIDTP occurred in 2000-2008, 51% of incidents occurred during winter; 32.0% between 20:00 and midnight. Police involvement was reported in 75% of cases. Incidents took place at victims' homes (46.7%), or at the police station, military camp, in custody or in prison (21.9%). Participants experienced 1-10 TCIDTP methods and reported 0-6 injury locations on their bodies; 77.5% reported having at least two injuries. Less than half of the participants were able to stand on one leg for 30 seconds. Only 7.5% of males aged 25-44 had handgrip strength in both hands exceeding average values for healthy people at the same age. Over 85% of participants scored low (
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