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Nesrine Saad farrag, Ghada Elkhawaga Farida Abdel Wahab El-sayed Nadia Abd El- Hamed Montasser

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Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health issue with drastic consequences. The extreme consequences of IPV do not only include the women’s physical, reproductive and mental health, but also extends to include her children and the community at large.  Intimate partner violence IPV destroy women’s health, disrupt their lives and indirectly erode their self confidence and self-esteem. Aim:  To estimate the prevalence of physical IPV against women in Mansoura, determine the causes and risk factors of the problem, point out the attitudes related to the problem, and to explore the injuries caused by such violence. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Mansoura, Egypt and included 758 ever married women randomly selected from attendants of 12 primary health centers (PHCs). The sample included women in the child bearing period from 15 to 49 years, attending the selected health centers for any reason except women who were too ill to participate.  These 12 PHCs were randomly selected from PHCs of Mansoura city and its suburbs.  Data were collected using a structured questionnaire that was administered by a female trained interviewer. Women were individually interviewed after giving informed consent to participate. The interview was conducted with each woman separately to ensure privacy. The women decisions and choices was respected.

Results: Self-reported past-year and lifetime prevalence of physical IPV was 28.8% and 34.3%, respectively. The prevalence of ever exposure to sever violence was 18.6%. The prevalence of violence during pregnancy was 22.3%. Results found that15.6% of women have lost consciousness at least once due to violence and 18.3% were ever injured due to violence and 8.9% were injured during the last 12 months. Eight percent of women were hurt enough to require medical care. Five percent were hospitalized due to injury. Scratches, abrasions, bruises, were the most common types of injuries due to physical IPV (10% of ever married women), followed by cuts, puncture, and bites (9.6%), then sprains, dislocations (5.6%). Financial problems (82%) were the most common situations leading to physical IPV followed by problems related to husband (36%) include being drunken, jealous or having problems at work. Other causes (9%) include children problems, infertility, children death, educational disparity, or husband wants more children. Regarding the risk factors that was significantly associated with violence, the study found the most commonly affected age group was (35-44 year) with Odds ratio 2.3 (95%CI1.4-3.8). The women who were illiterate, not working, living in rural areas, had insufficient income were 11(95%CI 7-19), 2.5 (95%CI 1.8-3.4), 2 (95%CI 1.5-2.7), 4.2 (95%CI 2.5-6.9) times more risk of exposure to violence than those who had higher education, working, living in urban area, and women who could save money respectively. The study found that women whose age was more than10 years younger than their husbands and those who were married for >10 years were 1.8 (95%CI 1.2-2.9) and 2.7 (95%CI 1.9-4) times more risk of exposure to abuse than women who were ≤5 younger than their husbands and women who were married for ≤5 years respectively. Women who saw their mothers beaten by their fathers and women whose mothers and fathers were separated were 4.6 (95%CI 3.3-6.5) and 12 (95%CI 4.7-32) times more risk of exposure to violence. The women who accepted wife beating in case of not completing housework, disobeying husband, refusing sex, asking whether he had girlfriend, suspecting her infidelity, and finding out her infidelity were 2.4 (95%CI 1.4-4), 3.4 (95%CI 2.4-4.8), 2.6 (95%CI 1.7-4), 2.9 (1.5-5.8), 2 (1.6-2.9), and 2 (1.6-3) times more risk of exposure to physical violence.Conclusion: Physical IPV is a considerable problem in Mansoura, Egypt. Poverty, illiteracy and attitudes prevalent in the society are key target to deal with the problem. Improving the standards of living of the population and supporting women to achieve high education and changing their attitudes may help reduce the magnitude of the problem.

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