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Palestinian Turmoil Linked to Domestic Abuse

Wives of men exposed to political violence have doubled risk of intimate-partner violence

FRIDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In the occupied Palestinian territory, intimate-partner violence is strongly associated with exposure to political violence, according to a study in the Jan. 23 issue of The Lancet.

Cari Jo Clark, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional survey of 4,156 Palestinian households including 3,815 ever-married women ages 15 to 64 years. They completed an analysis on 3,510 of the presently married women.

Compared to women whose husbands were not directly exposed to political violence, the researchers found that those whose husbands were directly exposed were significantly more likely to suffer physical and sexual intimate-partner violence (odds ratios, 1.89 and 2.23, respectively). They also found that women whose husbands were indirectly exposed to political violence were more likely to experience physical and sexual violence (odds ratios, 1.61 and 1.97, respectively).

"Investigation is needed into the potential pathways leading from political to intimate-partner violence, taking into account a range of explanations and their interactions, because any one explanation is insufficient to explain the relation," the authors conclude. "Our findings also suggest the importance of assessment of different types of violence exposures when considering potential need for psychosocial interventions, since exposure to many traumatic events is associated with increased mental and physical health symptoms."

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