The prevalence and determinants of sexual violence against young married women by husbands in rural Nepal

Mahesh Puri, Melanie Frost, Jyotsna Tamang, Prabhat Lamichhane, Iqbal Shah

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BACKGROUND: Sexual violence within marriage is a public health and human rights issue; yet it remains a much neglected research area, especially in Nepal. This paper represents one of the first attempts to quantify the extent of sexual violence and its determinants among young married women in Nepal.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1,296 married women aged 15-24 years in four major ethnic groups in rural Nepal. The survey data were used to estimate the prevalence and identify determinants of sexual violence. The relative importance of different correlates of sexual violence in the past 12 months at the individual, household and community levels were examined by using a multi-level multivariate statistical approach.

RESULTS: Of the young women surveyed 46% had experienced sexual violence at some point and 31% had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months. Women's autonomy was found to be particularly protective against sexual violence both at the individual and community level. Women's educational level was not found to be protective, while the educational level of the husband was found to be highly protective.

CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of sexual violence against young women by husbands found in this study is a matter for serious concern and underscores the need for a comprehensive response by policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Marriage
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nepal
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Offenses
  • Spouse Abuse
  • Spouses
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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