Physical and sexual violence and symptoms of gynaecological morbidity among married young women in India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Evidence from India about young women's experience of physical and sexual violence within marriage and its sexual and reproductive health consequences is limited. Data, drawn from 12,220 married women ages 15-24 years old from six Indian states, were used to identify associations between the experience of violence and recent symptoms of gynaecological morbidity, using logistic regression analysis. Young women who had experienced physical, sexual, or both forms of violence in the 12 months preceding the interview were more likely than others to report symptoms of gynaecological morbidity (odds ratios, 1.8-2.1); associations were evident in all six states. However, associations were weak between those who had experienced violence earlier in marriage but not in the 12 months preceding the interview and those who had never experienced violence. Findings highlight the need for the health system to play a proactive role in recognising and responding to the needs of young women experiencing marital violence.