Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Among South Asian Women Living in Southern Ontario

J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Aug;18(4):913-920. doi: 10.1007/s10903-015-0333-7.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 4 in 10 women in North America in their lifetime and 13-27 % in the past year. The basis for estimates stems largely from studies involving Caucasian women. Less is known about other minority populations such as South Asian women. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of IPV in the past year among South Asian women living in Southern Ontario. We conducted a survey of South Asian women living in Southern Ontario. All adult self-identified South Asian women attending a cultural event celebrating South Asian women who could understand English or Punjabi were eligible to participate. The survey contained three IPV prevalence questions adapted from the Woman Abuse Screening Tool. A total of 188 women (45 % of potentially eligible women) participated. Nearly 1 in 5 women reported IPV within the past year (19.3 %, 95 % CI 13.9-26.1 %). In this study single women were significantly more likely to have experienced IPV in the past year compared to married women (p = 0.035). Self-identified immigrant and non-immigrant South Asian women in this sample of women living in Southern Ontario experienced violence in proportions comparable to the general population. Programs for women should ensure accessibility and support of all ethnicities given equivalent rates of violence in the community.

Keywords: Intimate partner violence; Prevalence study; South Asian; Women’s health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asia, Western / ethnology
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Perception
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult