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24% women of Nagaland justify wife-beating: NFHS

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 30: Twenty-four percent of women in Nagaland agree that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife with at least one specified reason or under some circumstances, according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted under the stewardship of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“Women are most likely to agree that wife beating is justified, if a woman shows disrespect for her in-laws (17%), followed by if she neglects the house or children (15%) and if he suspects her of being unfaithful (8%). Men are more likely to agree: 34% say that wife beating is justified with at least one specified reason, especially if he suspects her of being unfaithful (25%), if the wife shows disrespect for in-laws (23%), or if she neglects the house or children, or if she argues with him (11% each)”, stated the survey.
Even among women and men, who have completed at least 12 years of schooling, 14% of women and 29% of men say that a husband is justified in beating his wife for one or more of the specified reasons, it added.
As per the latest NFHS, 10% of all women aged 18-49 in Nagaland have experienced physical or sexual violence.
“Nine percent of women have ever experienced physical violence only, and 1% has ever experienced sexual violence only. For ever-married women who experienced physical violence since age 15, the most common perpetrator was the current husband (69%). Less than 1% of women age 18-49 who has ever been pregnant have experienced violence during their pregnancies”, it stated.
Spousal violence
In Nagaland, 8% of ever-married women aged 18-49 have experienced any form of emotional violence, 6% have experienced any form of physical violence and 1% has experienced any form of sexual violence committed by their husband.
Overall, 11% of ever-married women experienced spousal violence in the form of emotional, physical or sexual violence, and 6% experienced physical or sexual violence.
“Four percent of ever-married women report having been slapped by their husband, being pushed, shaken, or having something thrown at them. Two percent being punched with a fist or something that could hurt her, kicked, dragged, or beaten up and 1% experienced having their arm twisted or hair pulled. One percent of ever-married women aged 18-49 report that their husbands have physically forced them to have sex even when they did not want to, and 1% reports that their husband forced them with threats or in any other way to perform sexual acts they did not want to perform.
“Overall, 6% of ever-married women have experienced spousal physical or sexual violence from their current husband or, if not currently married, from their most-recent husband. Few ever-married women (4%) reported that they have initiated violence against their husband when he was not already beating or physically hurling them”, the survey stated.
The survey also found that even as spousal violence prevails across all groups, it was much lower among more educated women.

“However, 6% women who have at least 12 years of schooling have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual spousal violence. The experience of spousal violence is higher among women in rural areas (13%) than in urban areas (8%); and among women who are employed for cash (13%) than women who are not employed (9%).
“Husband’s characteristics are also related to overall spousal violence (emotional, physical, or sexual). For instance, women are more likely to experience spousal violence if their husband gets drunk often (22%), displays 1-2 marital control behaviours (30%), gets drunk sometimes (15%), and if the husband completed less than 5 years of schooling (24%). The contextual and intergenerational aspects of spousal violence are clear from the fact that women whose mothers were beaten by their fathers are more likely to be in abusive marriages themselves”, the survey found.
Help seeking
Only 8% of women, aged 18-49, who have ever experienced physical or sexual violence sought help, while 29% never sought help but told someone. However, more than three-fifths (64%) never sought help and never told anyone, according to the survey.
To conduct the survey in Nagaland, information was collected from 10,112 households, 9,694 women aged 15-49 (including 1,515 women interviewed in PSUs in the state module), and 1,456 men aged 15-54.
(Page News Service)