Domestic Violence and Abortion Among Rural Women in Four Indian States

Violence Against Women. 2016 Nov;22(13):1642-1658. doi: 10.1177/1077801216630148. Epub 2016 Feb 21.


The prevalence of domestic violence and abortion in India is high, yet little is known about the relationship between these experiences. Data from two linked data sets, India's 1998-1999 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2) and a follow-up survey in 2002-2003, were analyzed. The analysis examines how the experience of physical violence affects the subsequent uptake of abortion, and how the experience of abortion affects subsequent experience of physical, sexual, and verbal violence. Women who experienced physical violence have significantly higher odds of reporting a subsequent induced abortion, whereas women who had an induced abortion have significantly higher odds of reporting subsequent sexual and verbal violence. There was no significant relationship between domestic violence and spontaneous abortion.

Keywords: India; abortion; domestic violence; intimate partner violence; rural; women.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires