Background: Violence against women is considered a fundamental violation of women’s human rights. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide one-third of women experience some form of intimate partner violence. The present study aims to examine the association of dowry demand and other associated risk factors with physical, sexual, or emotional violence against married adolescent girls in two major states of India by using large representative data.
Methods: Understanding the lives of adolescents and young adults (UDAYA) project survey data was used for this study. The effective sample size for the study was 4893 married adolescent girls. Descriptive statistics along with bivariate analysis was performed to examine the preliminary results. For analyzing the association binary logistic regression method was used.
Results: The prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual violence was 28.6%, 22.9%, and 26.1% among married adolescent girls respectively. About 44% of married adolescent girls experienced any type of violence (emotional/physical/sexual). The prevalence of violence was significantly higher among girls who reported that dowry was demanded by their husbands (emotional-54%, physical-42.1%, sexual-39.6%, and any violence-68.4%). Results show that the likelihood of any violence was 3.66 times more likely among adolescent girls who reported that dowry was demanded by their husbands than their counterparts [OR: 3.66; CI: 3.06-4.37]. Other risk factors for intimate partner violence among adolescents included justifying wife-beating, low decision-making power, having a paid job, and longer marital duration.
Conclusion: The results presented in this study suggest that policies that ensure equal inheritance and property rights for women and programs that help adolescent girls retain equal power and say in their family may be necessary to reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence.