Domestic violence in northern India

Sandra L. Martin, Amy Ong Tsui, Kuhu Maitra, Ruth Marinshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


This study examined the prevalence and characteristics of wife abuse as reported by nearly 6,700 married men living in five districts of northern India during 1995-1996. In addition, associations between wife abuse and sociodemographic factors were investigated to enable two theoretical/conceptual perspectives regarding abuse to be evaluated: that abuse is more common among families under stress and among more 'private' families. The district-specific percentages of men who reported physically abusing their wives ranged from 18% to 45%, with 18-40% of the men in each district having had nonconsensual sex with their wives and 4-9% having physically forced their wives to have sex. The authors used logistic regression analyses to control for a variety of sociodemographic variables and found positive associations between wife abuse and stress-related factors, including the husband having a low educational level, the couple living in poverty, the husband being young when he first lived with his wife, and the couple having multiple children. Contrariwise, there was no strong empirical support for the idea that wife abuse may be more common in more 'private' families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Battered women
  • Domestic violence
  • Risk factors
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Spouse abuse
  • Violence
  • Women's health
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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