Is Women’s Empowerment Associated With Help-Seeking for Spousal Violence in India?

K. Rowan, E. Mumford, C.J. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Violence against women by their husbands is a problem for women worldwide. However, the majority of women do not seek help. This article presents findings from a national survey in India on empowerment-related correlates of help-seeking behaviors for currently married women who experienced spousal violence. We examined individual-, relationship-, and state-level measures of empowerment on help-seeking from informal and formal sources. Findings indicate that help-seeking is largely not associated with typical measures of empowerment or socio-economic development, whereas state-level indicators of empowerment may influence help-seeking. Although not a target of this study, we also note that injury from violence and the severity of the violence were among the strongest factors related to seeking help. Taken together, the low prevalence of help-seeking and lack of strong individual-level correlates, apart from severe harm, suggests widespread barriers to seeking help. Interventions that affect social norms and reach women and men across social classes in society are needed in addition to any individual-level efforts to promote seeking help for spousal violence. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1519-1548
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Cited By :3

Export Date: 26 December 2018

Correspondence Address: Rowan, K.; NORC, 4350 East-West Highway, 8th Floor, United States; email:


  • cultural contexts
  • disclosure of domestic violence
  • domestic violence
  • intervention/treatment

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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