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Sociodemographic Profile: Nature of Abuse and Help Seeking Behavior of Victims of Intimate Partner Violence Presenting to Two Tertiary Care Units in the Central Province of Sri Lanka

Amal Nishantha Vadysinghe, Deepthi Edussuriya, Mukalanyaya Ranasinghege Yahani Lakma, Chandishni Ishara Kaluarachchi, Dineshi Nadeera Nanayakkara




Background: The prevalence of intimate partner violence is high in Sri Lanka. To identify the socio-demographic profile, nature of abuse and help seeking behavior of victims of IPV in the central province, Sri Lanka.
Methods: All victims of IPV presenting to the two medical units from 2005 to 2014 were included.
Results: All were female; 33.1% were between the ages of 31 to 40 years; 90.5% were married; and 64.5% were financially dependent on the other partner. Thirty two percent were educated to a level above the ordinary level examination. Sixty four percent did not report a history of abuse among parents while 25% of accused partners and 7% of victims reported abuse among parents. Majority of victims (45%) experienced both physical and verbal abuse with a significant majority experiencing physical abuse alone. The victim’s confidence in legal authorities’ decreased with increasing number of lodged police complaints. Considering the current episode, 43.8% stated the reason for admission to hospital as for security. Inquiry on the future course of action regarding the relationship revealed that 59.5% would accept the partner in spite of abuse while only 7.85% wanted legal separation or divorce.
Conclusion: Majority of victims were between 31-40 years, and financially dependent on their partner. Majority of victims were experienced both physical and verbal abuse. Even though help was sought from the police as means of protection only a few wanted legal separation.


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Socio-demographic profile, Type of abuse, Help seeking behavior


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ijmtfm.v8i1(Winter).19272