Prevalence and Correlates of Intimate Partner Violence among Women Attending Different Primary Health Centers in Aljouf Region, Saudi Arabia

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 5;19(1):598. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010598.


Background and objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious and widespread problem worldwide. IPV can seriously influence the physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health of women as well as the welfare of their children. In the Middle East, IPV is pervasive and widely acceptable. The present study was done to determine the prevalence and correlates of IPV among women attending different primary health centers in the Aljouf region, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 403 Saudi women attending different primary health centers in the Aljouf region, Saudi Arabia. A structured anonymous questionnaire was distributed to the targeted population during a face-to-face interview. Data analysis was done using the SPSS program, version 24.

Results: The present study showed that 30.3% of the participants had been exposed to IPV over the last year. Concerning the types of violence, the present study revealed that emotional violence is the highest followed by physical and then sexual violence representing 92.6%, 67.2%, and 44.3%, respectively. The significant predictors of IPV were women with one to three children (OR = 7.322, p-value = 0.006), women with four children or more (OR = 13.463, p-value = 0.006), and women married to husbands with aggressive behavior (OR = 98.703, p-value < 0.001). Not taking the approval on marriage was significantly associated with more exposure to violence (OR = 3.190, p-value = 0.042). In addition, husband smoking status was a significant predictor for IPV (OR = 2.774, p-value = 0.012). However, women married to alcoholic drinkers had a significantly lower risk for exposure to IPV (OR = 0.108, p-value = 0.040). On the other hand, women's age, marital status, women's educational level, monthly income in RS, perception of income sufficiency, marriage duration, the age difference between women and their husband, and drug abuse status of the husband were not significant predictors of IPV (p-value ≥ 0.05). Sociocultural effects were the most frequent reason for IPV as reported by the participants (57.4%). The most common consequences of IPV were psychological problems (75.4%) and injuries (42.6%). Women's reactions to IPV were leaving home (32.8%) or no reaction (36.8%) to retain their marriage.

Conclusions: IPV remains an important public health problem among married women in this study area. Urgent interventions including educational and screening programs for Saudi women are required to mitigate the problem.

Keywords: Saudi women; associated factors; intimate partner violence; prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sexual Partners