Risk and Protective Factors of Intimate Partner Violence in India: Evidence From the 2015-2016 National Family Health Survey




Cramer, Gina

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The World Health Organization defines intimate partner violence (IPV) as "behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors" (WHO, 2017). IPV is a pervasive and global phenomenon that affects individuals all around the world. Women in patriarchal societies are at an increased risk of violence given the traditional gender expectations that dominate their existence. Prior literature explores socio-demographic risk and protective factors such as the intergenerational transmission of IPV and attitudes towards IPV. This research expands upon previous literature through examination of additional risk factors such as lack of socio-economic resources and approval attitudes toward IPV with an emphasis on women's empowerment as a potential protective factor. Using data from the 2015-2016 National Family Health Survey in India, this study shows that women's educational attainment and greater share of household decision making are found to be protective factors of IPV, whereas women's employment and approval attitudes toward IPV are both associated with greater risk of IPV.