Background: Intimate-partner violence might increase during and after exposure to collective violence. We assessed whether political violence was associated with male-to-female intimate-partner violence in the occupied Palestinian territory. Methods: A nationally representative, cross-sectional survey was done between Dec 18, 2005, and Jan 18, 2006, by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. 4156 households were randomly selected with a multistage random cluster design, from which 3815 ever-married women aged 15-64 years were identified. We restricted our analysis to presently married women (n=3510, 92% participation rate), who completed a short version of the revised conflict tactics scales and exposure to political violence inventory. Exposure to political violence was characterised as the husband's direct exposure, his indirect exposure via his family's experiences, and economic effects of exposure on the household. We used adjusted multinomial logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for association between political violence and intimate-partner violence. Findings: Political violence was significantly related to higher odds of intimate-partner violence. ORs were 1·89 (95% CI 1·29-2·76) for physical and 2·23 (1·49-3·35) for sexual intimate-partner violence in respondents whose husbands were directly exposed to political violence compared with those whose husbands were not directly exposed. For women whose husbands were indirectly exposed, ORs were 1·61 (1·25-2·07) for physical and 1·97 (1·49-2-60) for sexual violence, compared with those whose husbands were not indirectly exposed. Economic effects of exposure were associated with increased odds of intimate-partner violence in the Gaza Strip only. Interpretation: Because exposure to political violence is associated with increased odds of intimate-partner violence, and exposure to many traumas is associated with poor health, a range of violent exposures should be assessed when establishing the need for psychosocial interventions in conflict settings. Funding: Palestinian National Authority, Core Funding Group, Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics for data collection. Financial support for the design and undertaking of the Domestic Violence Survey, the data on which this analysis was based, was provided by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Core Funding Group represented by the Representative Office of Norway to PNA, the Representative Office of Netherlands to PNA, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the UK Department for International Development, the European Commission, and the World Bank. CJC and SAE-R were supported by the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota for the secondary data analysis.
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