30% women in India subjected to physical, sexual violence: NFHS

Nearly one-third of women in India have experienced physical or sexual violence, finds the National Family Health Survey-5 report. While domestic violence against women has declined from 31.2% to 29.3% in the country, 30% women between the age of 18 and 49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 years, while 6% have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, finds the report that was released by Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandviya on Thursday.

Only 14% of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence by anyone have brought the issue up.

The NFHS-5 points out that a more granular comparison between NFHS-4 and 5 was not possible since “…the NFHS-4 covered women in the 15-49 age group, NFHS-5 dealt with women in the 18-49 age bracket”.

The survey finds that 32% of married women (18-49 years) have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional spousal violence. The most common type of spousal violence is physical violence (28%), followed by emotional violence and sexual violence.

As opposed to this, only 4% men face domestic violence cases in the country.

Domestic violence against women is highest in Karnataka at 48%, followed by Bihar, Telangana, Manipur and Tamil Nadu. Lakshawdeep has the least domestic violence at 2.1%.

The experience of physical violence is more common among women in rural areas (32%) as compared to their counterparts in urban areas (24%) and a woman’s experience of violence declines sharply with increased schooling and wealth – both for the female victim, as well as the male perpetrator.

The survey says, 40% women with no schooling are subject to physical violence compared to 18% who completed their schooling. The experience of physical violence ranges between 39% among women in the lowest wealth quintile and 17% in the highest wealth quintile.

In over 80% cases of physical violence against women, the perpetrator is the husband.

Husbands who have completed 12 or more years of schooling are half as likely (21%) to commit physical, sexual, or emotional spousal violence as those with no schooling (43%). “Experience of spousal physical or sexual violence varies greatly with the level of the husband’s alcohol consumption. 70% of women whose husbands often get drunk have experienced spousal physical or sexual violence, compared with 23% of those whose husbands do not drink,’’says the report.

The report finds that women in the 40-49 age bracket experience more violence than those in the 18-19 category.

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