Married women’s experience of domestic violence in Malawi: new evidence from a cluster and multinomial logistic regression analysis

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Abstract

Violence against women is a global issue with estimates indicating that 35% of all women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or nonpartner violence in their life time. In Malawi, 42% of ever-married women have experienced some form of violence perpetrated by their current or most recent spouse. A number of studies have investigated intimate partner violence in Malawi within the context of HIV/AIDS, girls’ sexual abuse, and psychological distress, and a few studies report on the role of sociocultural factors in influencing gender-based violence. No study has used cluster analysis to systematically analyze different levels of abuse among married women in Malawi. Using the 2015 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey data, we employed cluster analysis and multinomial logistic regression to analyze the distribution of different levels of abuse among married women in Malawi and the key attributes associated with each level of abuse. Correlates of domestic violence significantly differ by levels of abuse and are distributed as follows: controlling behavior (11.8%), general controlling behavior (GCB; 27.1%), moderate physical and emotional abuse (27.2%), and the high and complete abuse (8.5%). Alcohol consumption, ethnicity, and women working status were significantly associated with all four levels of abuse, but age and religion were only associated with controlling behavior and generalized controlling behavior. The strength of association between husband’s alcohol consumption, woman’s working status, and marriage type and domestic violence increased by level of abuse. On each of these factors, the odds of experiencing violence were lowest in the controlling behavior group and highest in the high physical and emotional abuse group. Policies and programs that are designed to tackle violence against married women in Malawi should incorporate strategies that discourage excessive alcohol consumption, promote messages that women can be bread winners, and discourage polygamous marriage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8693-8714
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume36
Issue number17-18
Early online date3 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • gender
  • violence
  • women
  • abuse
  • Mawali
  • cluster
  • multinominal

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