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Women

NFHS Finds a Third of Women in Karnataka, Assam, Mizoram, Telangana, Bihar Faced Spousal Violence

Karnataka, especially, has seen a drastic increase in the percentage of women experiencing 'spousal violence', doubling from 20.6% five years ago to 44.4% in 2019-20.

New Delhi: More than 30% women in five out of 22 states and Union Territories (UTs), including Karnataka, Assam, Mizoram, Telangana and Bihar, said they have suffered spousal violence, according to the fifth round of National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5).

Karnataka has seen a drastic increase in the percentage of women experiencing ‘spousal violence’, doubling from 20.6% five years ago to 44.4% in 2019-20. In Bihar, at least 40% women said they experienced spousal violence, compared with 43.7% in 2015-16, data showed.

About 39% women in Manipur, 36.9% in Telangana, 32% in Assam and 30% in Andhra Pradesh suffered spousal physical and sexual violence, data showed.

Considering that the survey was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, NGOs and activists have raised concerns over a further rise in the numbers during the lockdown period, said news reports.

They have attributed the reasons of women suffering from domestic violence to low literacy rate, high consumption of alcohol, among others. Some experts have even raised concerns over a culture of violence prevalent across regions in India.

According to data shared by India Spend, apart from Karnataka, states and UTs that have seen a rise in the percentage of cases of spousal violence (by women aged 18-49 years) over the last five years include Maharashtra, Assam, Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.

According to the NFHS-5 (phase 1) data, at least nine out of the 22 states surveyed reported an increase in the percentage of women aged 18-29 years who have faced sexual violence as a child, or before turning 18.