A literature review of intimate partner violence against women in India
Nolan, Alissa Terese
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Knowledge of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women in India has great importance for public health researchers and policymakers. Although there has been a substantial and growing body of scholarship, piecing together the numerous studies is complex. Many of these studies may not address findings within theoretical contexts that are important for understanding a woman’s experience of IPV in India. What is especially lacking is a comprehensive understanding of the structural inequalities and the patriarchal values that exist in India and further exacerbate women’s experience of IPV. In terms of theory, a combination of Bronfenbrenner’s social-ecological framework with radical feminism helps to fill this gap in the scholarship. In terms of empirical data, there are many studies on various individual factors of IPV in India. While many scholars have published systematic reviews of these studies, a thorough articulation of why and how a woman in India is especially susceptible to experiencing IPV is sparse. This literature review will attempt to address both of these critical needs. First, it will articulate a combination of theories (social-ecological theory and radical feminism) to aid in understanding the persistent public health crisis of IPV against women in India. Second, it will look at a broad range of studies to provide an introduction to IPV scholarship and illustrate the multiple, complex, and often overlapping factors that are associated with women’s experience of IPV in India. To do so, this literature review will address types of IPV, studies of prevalence, geographical distribution, structural violence, and risk factors, including pregnancy. It will conclude with policy recommendations and suggestions for further research.