Publication Date

2-14-2022

Document Type

Article

Department

Social Work

Disciplines

Clinical and Medical Social Work | Mental and Social Health

Publication Title

Conflict and Health

Volume

16

DOI

10.1186/s13031-022-00436-2

Abstract

Background
Studies from many contexts indicate that proximity to conflict is associated with increased likelihood of intimate partner violence (IPV), and girl child marriage is associated with both proximity to conflict and increased IPV. In this study, we consider whether girl child marriage acts as a mediator of the association between proximity to conflict and IPV in the context of Sri Lanka, which sustained long-term conflict until 2009.
Methods
We analyzed responses of currently partnered women between ages 18 and 49 in the 2016 Sri Lankan Demographic and Health Survey (N = 13,691). Using logistic regression analyses, we measured associations between proximity to conflict (residence in districts which were central, proximal, or distal to the regions where the war occurred) and the outcomes of IPV and girl child marriage, and secondarily assessed girl child marriage as a possible mediator of the association between proximity to conflict and past year IPV.
Results
Women residing in districts central to conflict, as compared to districts distal to conflict, had increased odds of past year sexual, physical, and emotional IPV, with the odds of sexual IPV increasing the most (adjusted odds ratio/aOR 4.19, 95% confidence interval/CI 2.08–8.41). Residing in districts proximal to conflict compared to those distal to conflict was associated with lower odds of past year physical and emotional IPV, with the greatest decrease in emotional IPV (aOR 0.31, CI 0.18–0.54). Girl child marriage was more likely in districts central to conflict as opposed to those distal to conflict (aOR 1.89, CI 1.22–2.93), and partially mediated the relationship between centrality to conflict and IPV.
Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that residing in districts central to conflict compared to those distal to conflict is associated with greater odds of IPV and girl child marriage in post-conflict Sri Lanka, with girl child marriage partially mediating the association between centrality to conflict and IPV. Residence in districts proximal to conflict appears protective against IPV. Future research should investigate what factors are responsible for decreased IPV in districts proximal to violence, and whether these factors can be reproduced to mitigate the increased prevalence of IPV in districts central to conflict.

Keywords

Sri Lanka, Intimate partner violence, Post-conflict setting, Girl child marriage, South Asia, Gender-based violence, Mediation analysis, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)

Comments

This is the Version of Record and can also be read online here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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