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A study of intimate partner violence among females attending a Teaching Hospital out-patient department

Author(s): KALA Kuruppuarachchi | LT Wijeratne | GDSSK Weerasinghe | MUPK Peris | SS Williams

Journal: Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 2012-6883

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: partner violence | Sri Lanka

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered a public health problem with physical and psychological consequences. Aims: To describe the prevalence of IPV among married females attending the out-patient department of North Colombo Teaching Hospital and their attitude towards abuse. Methods: A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire on physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse was given to the first 50 consenting married females attending the out-patient department on each day for five consecutive days. Confidentiality of responses was assured and adequate privacy was provided for the questionnaires to be completed. Results: Of the 242 participants 98(40.5%) reported some form of abuse by their male partner. Prevalence of abuse reported was physical abuse 19%, verbal abuse 23%, emotional abuse 23% and sexual abuse 7%. A quarter (26.9%) of those inflicted physical violence sought medical treatment for the injuries but only two of them divulged the reason for the injury to medical staff. More than three quarters (79%) of those abused were in the relationship for more than ten years. The majority of the females surveyed believed that violence by the male partner should be tolerated. Conclusions: IPV is a common problem that is poorly divulged to medical personnel. Attitudes regarding IPV have to be changed in order to reduce abuse significantly.
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