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Women Health. 2012;52(7):627-45. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2012.707171.

Intimate partner violence in southwestern Nigeria: are there rural-urban differences?

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.


The researchers in this study assessed the prevalence of different types and experience of intimate partner violence among 600 women aged 15 to 49 years in selected rural and urban communities in southwestern Nigeria between October and December, 2007. Lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence was 64% in the rural and 70% in the urban areas. Controlling behavior was the most frequently reported type of intimate partner violence experienced by both groups of women, and sexual violence was reported least. More urban women reported sexual violence and controlling behaviors than rural women (16.4% versus 11.6% and 57.7% versus 42.0%, respectively). More rural women had experienced physical violence (28% versus 14%). More urban women experienced controlling behaviors, while more rural women experienced physical violence. In both locations, history of partners' involvement in physical fights was significantly associated with reporting sexual violence (rural: odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-12.3; urban: OR = 8.4; 95% CI 1.4-51.8). History of alcohol consumption by partners was significantly associated with reporting physical violence (rural: OR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.2-4.4; urban: OR = 3.2; 95% CI 1.4-7.2). However, among rural respondents, younger partners were more likely to perpetuate controlling behavior (OR = 5.1; 95% CI 1.7-15.6) and being in a relationship for ≥10 years was related to psychological and physical violence. Among urban respondents, history of partners' involvement in physical fights was associated with controlling behavior (OR = 8.2; 95% CI 1.1-65.4) and physical violence (OR = 4.5; 95% CI 1.2-17.3). These results suggest that intimate partner violence is a frequent experience in women in both communities, although the types of intimate partner violence experienced differed, and multidisciplinary strategies are required to reduce intimate partner violence.

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