Child Marriage and Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Bangladesh

The Purple ribbon raises awareness of Intimate Partner Violence

The Purple ribbon raises awareness of Intimate Partner Violence

Child marriage (before age 18) is a risk factor for intimate partner violence (IPV) against women, however it is unclear whether the protective effect of marriage after age 18 is modified by local norms around age of marriage.   In a recent paper reporting on risks of IPV among residents of villages in Bangladesh Bates and colleagues find that almost one-half (44.5 %) of women reported incident physical IPV, and 78.9 % had married before age 18.  Among the women marriage at 18 or later was associated with lower risk of physical IPV, while residence in a village with more prevalent very early child marriage before age 15 was associated with a higher risk of a woman experiencing IPV.  There was an interaction between a woman’s own age of marriage and the village prevalence of very early child marriage, suggesting the protective effect of marrying later was negated in villages where very early child marriage was prevalent. Collectively reducing very early child marriage may be needed to protect women from IPV.

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