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.
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