Journal of Womens Health, Issues and CareISSN: 2325-9795

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Research Article, J Womens Health Issues Care Vol: 10 Issue: 9

Causes and Psychosocial Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Ambo Town Married Women

Mulisa Fayera*, Abera Getachew

Department of Psychology, Institute of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Ambo University, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author: Mulisa Fayera Department of Psychology, Institute of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Ambo University, Ethiopia E-mail:

Received: 27 July, 2021; Accepted: 16 August, 2021; Published: 23 August, 2021

Citation: Vijayasree (2021) Knowledge of Women on Menopausal Transition in a Selected Panchayath, Kozhikode District. J womens Health, Issues Care, 10:9


Intimate partner violence is a pattern of coercive tactics that can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and emotional abuses against intimate partners, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control. The aim of this study is to investigate intimate partner violence and associated factors in Ambo town. The participants of the study were household women between the ages 15 to 49. Data were collected by using both quantitative and qualitative methods. To collect the quantitative data, 389 household women of Ambo Town were randomly selected for close-ended questionnaire. In qualitative method, 12 participants (six women were victims of IPV and six other married women) were purposely selected for semi structured and 10 key informants were also purposely selected for Focus group discussion. The data collected from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools through SPSS.20 and the qualitative data was analyzed narratively. The results of the study demonstrated that from the total 389 sample, 343 women did not agree with their husband and only 46 women reported that they agree with their husband. This shows that there was a problem of disagreement between wives and their husbands. Besides, causes and psychosocial consequences of IPV were directly related with intimate partner violence.

Keywords: Cause; Consequence; Intimate partner violence

Need and Significance

WHO defines intimate partner violence as any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, and psychological abuse and controlling behaviors [1,2]. Similarly, according to UN Violence against women is any act of genderbased violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

Victims of IPV apparently demonstrate psychological damages and social awkwardness. Research by WHO explain this fact as “Evidence suggests that women who are abused by their partners suffer higher levels of depression, anxiety and phobias than non-abused women” [3].

Globally, 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in their lives. Besides, showed that up to 70% of women have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime [4]. Recent study report indicates that in Africa around 64% of women experienced intimate partner violence at least once in their lifetime UN Statistics. In sub-Saharan Africa, the reported prevalence of intimate partner violence ranges from 20% to 71%.

In Ethiopia, it is clear that there are unheard voices and untold stories in most houses regarding partner violence. How serious the violence could be between husbands and wives yet it is considered normal to be silent about it and taking care of it by elders in the community who encourage tolerance of any quarrel in relationship. Also, there were serious incidents of acid attacks and physical injuries by partners which were disregarded [5].

There are different studies which are considered as evidences for Intimate partner Violence being a social issue in Ethiopia. Particularly, women are feeling unsafe and in danger in their relationship with male partners. According to a study on intimate partner violence in Ethiopia by Ministry of Women, Children and Youth affairs “Domestic abuse or Domestic violence which occurs in the context of marriage or cohabitation, pre-domestic relationships such as dating, and post-domestic relationships, as in the case of ex-partners who are no longer living together is one of the most common forms of Violence Against Women in Ethiopia” [6].

Thirty-four percent (34%) of ever-married women in Ethiopia have ever experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence by their current husband and also twenty-seven percent (27%) of ever-married women experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence in the past 12 months, which is highest in Oromia regional state followed by Harari regional state CSA. From the Oromia regional state Ambo town was not the exceptional with the problem of intimate partner violence. Thus, this study would be concerned with the investigation of the causes, psychosocial consequences and coping mechanisms of IPV among the women of Ambo town.

Statement of the Problem

Violence alongside women predominantly intimate partner violence is the foremost community health problem and abuse of women's human rights worldwide. It is a marvel that persists in all countries occurs in all settings and among all socio-economic, religious and cultural groups. Violence against women and girls continues to be a major challenge and a threat to women’s empowerment. Specifically, Intimate Partner Violence results in exorbitant physical, psychological, and economic costs, and death is not an uncommon [1]. Psychological health effects are more dangerous than physical health effects. Battered women can experience depression, panic anxiety, nightmares, restlessness, eating problem, low self-esteem, psychogenic diarrhea and other social dysfunctions [7]. Alcohol and substance abuse are also common among assaulted women. Intimate partner violence or abuse against women is believed to be the outcome of a dynamic interaction of risk and protective factors that range from broad social factors to individual risk factors.

IPV against women affects all spheres of women’s lives: their autonomy, their productivity, and their quality of life. It is a risk for wide range of negative health outcomes and even death. It is important to note that, IPV reduces the range of choices open to women, and narrows their options in almost every sphere of life-public and private sphere. It limits their choices, directly influence their health, disrupting their lives and ultimately, Violence hinders women’s full participation in society [3].

Some studies reported that urban residence is identified as risk factors by interacting with other factors. For instance, in Addis Ababa, the study showed that IPV crime had increased over the last few years. This could be as indicated in the study, due to the fact that IPV crime has been increased or it could also be due to the fact that more and more people are coming forward to report such cases to the police. It is also possible that the combination of these factors have contributed to the increase crimes [8].

Even though, Intimate partner violence is a global problem and affects every woman’s life, the possible coping strategies of this burning problem would be stated at the end of the study. Thus, this study was done not only to have a preview of the different causes and the psychosocial consequences of intimate partner violence, but also would be described the ways to prevent intimate partner violence in Ambo Town, Oromia regional state, Ethiopia. Based on this idea the following problems were addressed in this thesis. These problems are:

What are the socio-demographic factors associated with the IPV among the women of Ambo town?

What are the causes of IPV among the women of Ambo town?

What are the psychosocial consequences of IPV among the women of Ambo town?

What are the existing prevention mechanisms of IPV among the women of Ambo town?

General Objective of the study

To investigate the Causes, psychosocial consequences and coping mechanisms of intimate partner violence in Ambo town.

Specific Objectives of the study

1. To investigate the socio-demographic factors associated with the IPV among the women of Ambo town.

2. To investigate the causes of IPV among the women of Ambo town.

3. To examine psychosocial consequences of IPV in Ambo town.

4. To assess the mechanisms of coping of IPV among the women of Ambo town.

Limitation of the study

The research study is limited to some victims of intimate partner violence or married women who are dwellers of Ambo town. It is believed that the research setting was convenient to identifying the potential participants to address the research questions. Moreover, due to time and resource constraints the study was based on small samples and limited information. It would have been better, if different institutional players, men and women from different social status have been included and also because of the constraints of time and resource this study takes in to consideration married women of their age 15-49.


Based on the data obtained from respondents the causes, psychosocial consequences and coping mechanisms of intimate partner violence can be interpreted by using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression and chi-square test. In descriptive statistics the results explained in frequency, percentage, minimum, maximum and standard deviation. Binary logistic regression and chi-square test shows the relationship and the degree of relationship between intimate partner violence and the factors. The data was analyzed by using SPSS statistical software.

The results of socio-demographic factors

The demographic profile of the respondents was presented in this section. A personal profile of the 389 sample respondents were summarized in the form of frequencies and percentages for this study. These include: Ages, religions, attending religious service, educational levels of husbands and wives as well as employment status of husbands and wives.

Socio-demographic Information

Three hundred eighty-nine women participated in the study. Their mean age was 37.48 (SD=8.24), ranging from 15-49 years. Besides, religious, educational, and employment status of the respondents is presented here under in table 1.

Depict the majority of respondents are Orthodox Christians (65.8%), which is followed by protestant (28.02%) and waqefata constitute 5.39%. No respondents reported having no religion because it is mostly very important aspect in Ethiopian socio-cultural life and also 67.61% of the respondents were attended their religious service at least once per week. This shows that Women were kept at subordinate position by using religion and culture as an excuse and they have also their own contribution in tolerance and response of intimate partner violence as the subordinate (Table 2).

Concerning the education, respondents were asked about their educational level. Accordingly, table 2 shows that 46.78% of the respondents have finished primary education and 9.25% of the respondents have completed secondary education. A significant proportion of respondents, that is, 37.53% have no formal education.

On the other hand, among the respondents’ husbands as indicated in table 2, 14.91% of them have above secondary educational level. Husbands that have no formal education constitute 11.82%. It confirms the gap of education between men and women in Ethiopia. Literature also indicates low educational status has its own impact in the occurrence of intimate partner violence against women.

In order to understand the type of work, respondents were asked the type of work they do. As table 3: Shows 34.96% of women respondents reported that they were engaged in petty trade, which are followed by farming activities 27.5%. Regarding respondent’s husbands work status, 43.95% of them were worked in different sectors by Employed which constituted professionals, which are followed by 24% farming activities. The table 3 indicates that more women are engaged in informal activities because of their low educational and social status.

The Chi-square test results of socio-demographic factors

Chi-square test is one of inferential statistics that used to test independence (test of association of attribute) and tests of homogeneity. The results of chi-square test shows weather there were association between intimate partner violence and Socio-demographic factors, Causes of IPV, Psychosocial consequences of IPV and Coping mechanisms of IPV at 95% of level of significance as stated in methodological parts. So, to answer for the research question number one, the results of chi-square tests of intimate partner violence and socio-demographic factors were explained by using table 4 as follows.

As indicated on table 4 all socio-demographic factors were significant at 5% level of significance. This indicate that there was strong relationship between intimate partner violence and age, religion, attending religious service, education of the wife, job types of the wife, education of the husband and type job of the husband.

When their age increases they understood different situation in their environments and can handle the problem they faced easily. This shows increment of age have great significant effects on intimate partner violence. Cornering the religion any respondents have not reported as they having no religion. This shows that religion was the most important aspect in Ethiopian socio-cultural life and many respondents were attended their religious service occasionally. Within the families who were follows their religion attentively, there were agreement between each other, but within those who don’t follow well, there were disagreement.

In addition, education was another factor that has significant effects on intimate partner violence. If they learn they can easily overcome the problems they faced in their life by bringing solution for the problems. Education of husband also reduces the effects of intimate partner violence. If both wife and husband were educated they can understood the factors that disturbed them and can find the remedial action for the problems. Job of husband and wife also has significant effects on intimate partner violence. Since husband and wife follow their job day to day they may not have the time to disturb one another.

Education and income status of individuals in marriage were also again an important intervening factor for violence. If the woman is educated, she is more likely to know her rights and duties. The woman would be assertive and free from harmful myth and would defend her rights through all means. In fact it has been shown in the demographic and health survey that educated women are less likely to agree a man justified in abusing his wife for any reason compared to uneducated women.

In general there were significant effects between socio-demographic factors and intimate partner violence.

The results of Causes of IPV

In this section, women’s response to the major causes of the IPV would be presented in detail. That means, the second research question of this study was answered in this section. Descriptive statistical analysis like frequency and percent as well as inferential statistics such as binary logistic regression and chi-square test were employed assessing the causes of IPV. Furthermore, the result of qualitative data was analyzed narratively at the end of this section.

The descriptive results of causes of IP

Depending on the table 5 the researcher summarized the causes of IPV in four major heading causes. These were socio-cultural causes, economic causes, drinking alcohol related causes and jealousy and sexual related problems. These causes were described as follow:

Frist, concerning the socio-cultural causes the highest number of the respondents was mentioned their answer in the scale of both often and sometimes. Specially, 66.6% and 67.9% of the respondents stated that gender specific socialization and the discriminated role given for women were often the causes for the Violence with their husbands respectively. So, this shows that socio-cultural factors were the common causes of the intimate partner violence.

Second, as the table 5 indicated that economic factors were also the basic causes for the intimate partner violence. 58.1% and 59.6% of the respondents responded that husband’s controlling the economy and wife dependency on her husband was often the main causes for the creation of violence between husband and wife.

Third, based on the result of table 5 drinking alcohol was the cause for the intimate partner violence. 60.9% of the respondents were answered drinking alcohol sometimes became the main causes of intimate partner violence.

Fourthly, depending on the above table 5 jealous and absence of express loving face sometimes became the causes of intimate partner violence and absence of keeping the sexual feeling of each other often the major cause of intimate partner violence.

In addition to the data gathered from questionnaires, in interview and focus group discussion participants were mentioned the major factors that cause intimate partner violence. These factors were:

Socio-Cultural factors: the finding indicates that the strength of cultural norms which supports men's violence against women and women’s obligation to obey her husband. For example, over half of the women, in the study, believed that husbands have a right to abuse their wives. That means, even the opinion of women towards gender role expectation was aggravated the occurrence of intimate partner violence. The widespread acceptability of the circumstances where wife beating was justified as the extent to which, intimate partner violence was conceptualized as a form of chastisement for female behavior that transgresses certain expectations. Thus, it was important that only knowing the other causes of intimate partner violence was not enough, but also working to change attitudes of the women on their rights in general was also an important.

It was said most violent incidents were precede by arguments, which could well stem from differences of opinions and disobediences (not fulfilling demands of husband). For instance, refusing sex was often mentioned as the reason of intimate partner violence. Concerning with this study, in Ethiopia, there were a number of proverbs that put down women’s nature and capabilities in order to justify the social predominance of men over women.

For example, “The thought of women and the light of star did not take one far”. Thus, women were thought and expected to be submissive, passive, dependent and obedient to men. If they were disobedient, men would be used violence to discipline and maintain control.

Economic Causes of IPV: Participants frequently mentioned economic problem as the main causes of IPV. They pointed out that how their dependency on husband's income became worst and vulnerable to violence. This shows the subjugation of women emanates largely from the subordinate economic status.

Drinking alcohol: drinking alcohol was the other consistently mentioned reason for intimate partner violence. As drinking the alcohol have an impact on the economy, excessive consumption of alcohol have also been noted as a factor in provoking aggressive and violent male behavior towards women. The finding revealed that most cases of abuse were associated with the husband’s excessive alcohol consumption. It was apparent that the participants consider alcoholism plays a role in violence, but is certainly not a simple cause. It was answered that men might come home drunk when they have some misunderstanding with their wives thereby they would got courage to say what they want and even assault their wives physically and psychologically as well as sexually.

Jealousy: It was also revealed that jealousy on the part of the aggressor can provoke violent behavior too. Both the survey and qualitative information showed that jealousy can lead to the occurrence of violence, specially, for women who were at young age. The respondents said that their husband's jealousy felling and accusations, justify their attitude in isolate from fiends, neighbor and family.

Generally, both the qualitative and quantitative findings of this study indicate that there were contributory conditions to the occurrence of intimate partner violence against women. Contributory conditions were a set of conditions which give rise to disagreements between a husband and wife. This includes socio-cultural factors, economic reason, drinking and jealousy and sexual related problems.


The Study finding shows that intimate partner violence is a broad term which includes different types of violence at household level. The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents have their own influence for the creation of intimate partner violence. The ages, the educational levels, the employment status and the religion of the respondents have their own contribution for the increment or curbing the violence. Based on this research as age and educational level increase as well as when there is accessible job opportunity and when people follow their religion the chance for violence would be decrease. Literature review also indicates that younger age is associated with greater intimate partner violence perpetration or youth is highly associated with more frequent criminality [9,10]. The other literature also shows that when women have their own source of income the vulnerability of violence would be lower [9]. So, the result of this study is directly consistent with the literature.

The study also indicated that there were many reasons for the creation of Intimate Partner Violence. Based on this finding socio-cultural facfactor, economic factor, alcohol drinking and jealousy as well as sexual related problems were the main causes of intimate partner violence.

The different Literature reviews also improve the consistency of this study. These literatures suggested that violence against women was most common in societies where gender roles were rigidly defined and enforced, and where the concept of masculinity was linked to toughness and male dominance [11,12].

The other literature which supports this study was stated that women living in economic problem suffer disproportionately [3]. Population based surveys from Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Nicaragua, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela found a relationship between a woman’s risk of suffering violence and her partner’s drinking habits [13]. So, the results of this finding were consistent with the above stated literatures.

Concerning the psychosocial consequences of this finding, survivors of intimate partner violence were suffered from psychological challenges and social phobia. Some of the main behaviors that they were diagnosed for are depression, stress, anger, sorrow and related post traumatic behaviors. Most of them have low self-esteem and they recognize feelings of deceived, trauma, sadness and similar behaviors as it is investigated in other studies of the empirical literature. The WHO 2005 which declares the result being the experience of abuse often erodes women’s self-esteem and puts them at the greater risk of a variety of mental health problem including depression; anxiety and social chaos also support the result of this study.


Intimate Partner Violence is a very serious social issue which led into social chaos. Women could be affected physically, socially, psychologically or emotional as a result of intimate partner violence. Findings of this study also indicated that intimate Partner violence was a very complex process and influenced by multiple factors. There were different causes of intimate partner violence in the world. Based on this study socio-cultural factor, economic factor, alcohol drinking and jealousy as well as sexual related problems were the main causes of intimate partner violence.

The potential dangerousness of the intimate partner violence against women occurs throughout their marital lives. As it was indicated in this finding that woman who just survived in abusive relationship have signs of depression, hopelessness, lack of satisfaction, low self-esteem, sleeping problems, panic disorders, antisocial behavior, suicidal behavior, replaying assault in the mind, stress (anxiety), absence of sexual feeling, unintended pregnancy, restricted access to social services, isolation from social networks, gastrointestinal disorders, migraines and headaches and heart disease and so on as a result of losing control and interest in one’s life. In addition many women were lived in fear not only for their own lives but also for the lives of their children.

This study also finds out that the ways of preventing the problems of intimate partner violence. The possible ways in which women saved themselves from the influences of intimate partner violence were through accepting the problem as it is, through the intervention of legal bodies and the kwon elders, through making a plan of action to curb the violence, through Positive reframing, through getting advice from someone what to do and so on were the most important coping mechanisms.


As this Study clearly demonstrates, intimate partner violence was an extreme manifestation of gender inequality that needs to be addressed urgently. Therefore, it is important to promote gender equality and human rights; train social, political, and religious leaders on the prevention of IPV; and strengthen formal and informal support systems for women living with violence. Besides, governmental and non-governmental agencies should sensitize legal and justice systems to the particular needs of women victims of violence.


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