Type and Severity of Intimate Partner Violence and Formal Help-seeking Among Women in the Philippines

Kim Carmela D. Co, Amiel Nazer C. Bermudez, Ma. Lourdes Rossana E. De Guzman

Abstract


Background: In the Philippines, 25% of ever-married women reported experiencing some form of violence from their partner, but only 10% of them actually sought medical or legal help (NDHS, 2013). The objective of this study was to describe the type and severity of intimate partner violence experienced, and its association with formal help-seeking, among women aged 15-49 years in the Philippines.

Methods: The cross-sectional data used for this study came from the National Demographic and Health Survey of women ages 15-49 years old conducted in 2013. To estimate the association of interest, confounders were identified using the change-in-estimate criterion and were controlled by multiple logistic regression modelling.

Results: Among women aged 15-49 years who experienced intimate partner violence, those who experienced all types of abuse had the highest proportion of formal help-seeking (7.3%), while women who experienced only sexual abuse had the lowest (0 out of 67). Controlling for the effect of other variables, women who experienced severe physical abuse were more likely to seek medical or legal assistance compared to those who experienced moderate physical abuse (OR=4.77; 95% Confidence Interval: 1.96 – 11.62).

Conclusion: Formal help-seeking rates were low among victims of intimate partner violence in the Philippines. Severity of abuse experienced is likely an important factor in seeking medical and legal help. These systems should thus be capable of handling severe cases of abuse in order to address the needs of women who seek help. Efforts should be made to increase formal help-seeking among all victims of domestic violence.


Keywords


intimate partner violence; domestic violence; physical violence; help-seeking; formal help-seeking

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