Wife abuse in rural Bangladesh

J Biosoc Sci. 2009 Sep;41(5):561-73. doi: 10.1017/S0021932009990046. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health and gender problem, especially in low-income countries. The study focused on verbal abuse, physical abuse and abuse by restricting food provision to wives by their husbands by victim and perpetrator characteristics, emphasizing the socioeconomic context of rural Bangladesh. Using a cross-sectional household survey of 4411 randomly selected married women of reproductive age, the study found that a majority of the respondents are exposed to verbal abuse (79%), while 41% are exposed to physical abuse. A small proportion (5%) of the women had suffered food-related abuse. Risk factors observed were age of the wife, illiteracy (of both victims and perpetrators), alcohol misuse, dowry management, husband's monetary greed involving parents-in-law, and wife's suspicions concerning husband's extramarital affairs. Well-established risk factors for wife abuse, along with dowry and husband's monetary greed, have a relatively high prevalence in rural Bangladesh.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult