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Association between exposure to intimate partner violence and the nutritional status of women and children in Nigeria

Published onMay 28, 2022
Association between exposure to intimate partner violence and the nutritional status of women and children in Nigeria
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Association between exposure to intimate partner violence and the nutritional status of women and children in Nigeria
Association between exposure to intimate partner violence and the nutritional status of women and children in Nigeria
Description

Background Globally, intimate partner violence (IPV) epitomizes a greater proportion of the violence experienced by women, with more than a third of women (41.3%) in sub-Saharan Africa reporting IPV during their lifetime. This study examined the association between exposure to IPV and the nutritional status of women and their children in Nigeria. Methods The study analyzed secondary data obtained from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Data on women’s lifetime experience of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV, as well as demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, were collected. We used regression models to determine the association between exposure to IPV and women and child nutrition indicators. A weighted sample of 4,391 women aged 15–49 years and 2,145 children 6–59 months were analyzed. Results The lifetime experience of IPV in the study was 35.31% (95% CI: 33.35, 37.33), 30.43% (95% CI: 28.54, 32.38) experienced psychological IPV, 19.43% (95% CI: 17.79, 21.19) experienced physical IPV, and 6.03% (95% CI: 5.12, 7.09) experienced sexual IPV. After adjusting for a range of characteristics, maternal lifetime exposure to IPV was associated with underweight (ARRR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.91) and overweight/obesity (ARRR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.58). We also found that, children whose mothers experienced IPV were less likely to be underweight compared to their counterparts (ARRR = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.96). Conclusions Overall, IPV against women, particularly psychological, physical, and sexual IPV, is common in Nigeria and has an association with the nutritional status of affected women and their children. According to the study, women with a lifetime experience of IPV were more likely to be overweight. On the other hand, affected women’s children were less likely to be underweight. A far-reaching effort is required to curb IPV against women, particularly policies, programs, and laws are needed to protect women and children from the unfavourable effects of IPV to reduce the prevalence and impact of such violence.

 

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