Are Individual and Community Acceptance and Witnessing of Intimate Partner Violence Related to Its Occurrence? Multilevel Structural Equation Model
Olalekan, A. Uthman
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Intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) is a serious and widespread problem worldwide. Much of the research on IPVAW focused on individual-level factors and attention has been paid to the contextual factors. The aim of this study was to develop and test a model of individual- and community-level factors associated with IPVAW. Methods and Findings: We conducted a (multivariate) multilevel structural equation analysis on 8731 couples nested within 883 communities in Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey 2008. Variables included in the model were derived from respondents’ answers to the experience of IPVAW, attitudes towards wife beating and witnessing physical violence in childhood. We found that women that witnessed physical violence were more likely to have tolerant attitudes towards IPVAW and women with tolerant attitudes were more likely to have reported spousal IPVAW abuse. Women with husbands with tolerant attitudes towards IPVAW were more likely to have reported spousal abuse. We found that an increasing proportion of women in the community with tolerant attitudes was significantly positively associated with spousal sexual and emotional abuse, but not significantly associated with spousal physical abuse. In addition, we found that an increasing proportion of men in the community with tolerant attitudes and an increasing proportion of women who had witnessed physical violence in the community was significantly positively associated with spousal physical abuse, but not significantly associated with spousal sexual and emotional abuse. There was a positive correlation between all three types of IPVAW at individual- and community-level. Conclusions: We found that community tolerant attitudes context in which people live is associated with exposure to IPVAW even after taking into account individual tolerant attitudes. Public health interventions designed to reduce IPVAW must address people and the communities in which they live in order to be successful.
- Medical and Health Sciences