Week 4: Blog Post

Women often face violence of all kinds. Intimate partner violence (IPV) being among one of the most common. Violence committed against women often comes from intimate partners or ex-partners that the women have or may have had. In India, violence rates are extremely high.  ” In a study done in India, on about 10000 women, 26 per cent reported having experienced physical violence from spouses during their lifetime. The prevalence could be as high as 45 per cent as indicated by data from Uttar Pradesh. Latest figures from the National Crime Records Bureau show that a crime was recorded against women every three minutes. Every hour, at least two women are sexually assaulted and every six hours, a young married woman is beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide” (Harbishetter 2014). “Women in India are placed at risk for violence through a process of social stratification which defines their relative position in an oppressive and patriarchal society including complex intersections of their gender, caste, and class. Growing evidence in the literature to suggest that the risk for intimate partner violence in India is associated with lower socioeconomic status, poverty, and lower educational achievement” (Menon 2018).  Culture plays a large role in violence committed against women, and why statistics may be so difficult to believe. ” An example of a dominant cultural narrative in the Indian context is an emphasis on the silencing and non‐disclosure of violence, stemming from patriarchal beliefs in maintaining the woman’s honor and her family honor and preventing shame” (Menon 2018). In order to prevent the family and woman from being shamed, women suffer through the violence in silence. By framing the violence against women as a cultural or social issue, it is much easier to ignore and chalk up to something that cannot be fixed or changed, but if we look at from a heath aspect, we reinforce how we view health now. We can see that violence committed against women cause long-term health problems such as PTSD, genetic mutation from stress, anxiety, etc.

Intergenerational trauma reinforces mechanical models of health and biochemical models. Intergenerational trauma is trauma that affects multiple generations of people from a certain group of people, usually families. This means that some type of domino affect would need to occur. In this instance, violence committed against a mother may also affect their child, and their child’s child, and so on. “. First,
maternal experiences of maltreatment during childhood (1)
predicted higher levels of prenatal and postnatal depressive
symptoms and (2) were associated with a smaller reduction
in depressive symptoms across the perinatal period. Second,
maternal experiences of childhood household dysfunction were
indirectly associated with higher levels of infant maladaptive
socioemotional symptoms through maternal age at first pregnancy
and infant birth weight. Third, maternal childhood maltreatment
was directly associated with higher levels of
maladaptive infant socioemotional symptoms” (McDonnell 2016). The information found in the study shows that violence the mother faced during pregnancy directly affected the child. The paper we read on Pregnancy discusses how women that have faced sexual violence or trauma as a child are not as likely to abuse their children, but they are more likely to marry men that will. This shows that intergenerational issues are reinforced in the models we have discussed. In India, people often times do not address the issue out of fear that they will dishonor their name and their families name. This issue needs to be acknowledged and understood as a health concern in order to receive the attention that it needs and deserves.


Harbishettar V, Math SB. Violence against women in India: Comprehensive care for survivors. The Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2014;140(2):157-159.

Mcdonnell, C. G., & Valentino, K. (2016). Intergenerational Effects of Childhood Trauma. Child Maltreatment,21(4), 317-326. doi:10.1177/1077559516659556

Menon, S. V., & Allen, N. E. (2018). The Formal Systems Response to Violence Against Women in India: A Cultural Lens. American Journal of Community Psychology. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12249

3 thoughts on “Week 4: Blog Post

  1. Hi Charmonique,

    I agree with your first point that making violence against women a health issue rather than a social or cultural issue will help us solve the problem rather than ignore it or chalk it up to a cultural difference. It is important to respect other cultures, however it is also important to make sure people in other cultures are not abused or being mistreated. The real balance is finding where another culture can intervene and who is to say what is right and what is wrong? However, I do not agree that intergenerational trauma reinforces our current biomedical model. The way I viewed our current biomedical model is that illnesses are treated like there is one cause and that it is physical, which I interpreted from the week one lecture “Deconstructing Biomedicine.” What do you think the current biomedical model is and what ways do you think it is different from how I interpreted the model to be? However, I do agree with your point that intergenerational trauma is relevant, from our reading this week in an article titled “Pregnancy” by Julia Seng and Mickey Sperlich mothers talk about how they want to “protect [their baby] from such a toxic environment” the toxic environment being the world as they know it. Do you think that this thought process impacts how mothers who have gone through trauma raise their children as compared to mothers who have not had traumatic experiences?

    Seng, Julia, and Mickey Sperlich . “Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering, and Healing after Sexual Abuse.” Anthropology MSU, 2002, anthropology.msu.edu/anp270-us18/files/2016/06/4.1-Sperlich-and-Seng.pdf.

  2. Hello,

    I agree, women face violence of all kinds. Some statistics on domestic violence includes that, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime” along with, “nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the U.S for one year, this equates to more than 10 million men and women” (Project Sanctuary 2018). These number are truly alarming, and I think it is significant for the public to be more aware of how often this type of thing happens.

    I have also chosen India as my country for the project and have decided to focus on the mental health in women in India. I have found that India is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women. This is because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, along with forced marriage and other issues (Dewaan 2018). One of these issues include mental health. In an article by Savita Malhortra titled, “Women and Mental Health in India Overview”, the topic of how mental health affects women is discussed. From the reading, it was found that “Gender is a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness. The patterns of psychological distress and psychiatric disorder among women are different from those seen among men. Women have a higher mean level of internalizing disorders while men show a higher mean level of externalizing disorders…. Social factors and gender specific factors determine the prevalence and course of mental disorders in female sufferers. Low attendance in hospital settings is partly explained by the lack of availability of resources for women. Around two-thirds of married women in India were victims of domestic violence.” (2015). Domestic violence being one of these things influencing mental health and is important to note, especially since so many women suffer from it. This is not only an issue in India but in many places around the world. Domestic violence affects the women both mentally and physically. Now that we have the information on how it can affect women, we can use in order make the public more aware of what’s happening and figure out ways on how to fix it. It is important to consider all factors that contribute to the issue, and with that formulate the best course of action for solving the problem.

    Outside Sources
    “Some Statistics about Domestic Violence- . Project Sanctuary . 2018.” Project Sanctuary – Mendocino County, CA 2018. June 2018.. http://www.projectsanctuary.org/dv/some-statistics-about-domestic-violence/.
    Dewan, Angela. “India Most Dangerous Nation for Women, US Ranks 10th in Survey.” CNN. June 26, 2018. Accessed July 27, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/health/india-dangerous-country-women-survey-intl/index.html.
    Malhotra, Savita, and Ruchita Shah. “Women and Mental Health in India: An Overview.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 57, no. 6 (July 2015): 205. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.161479.

  3. Hey Charmonique! The country I chose was Egypt, and like India, there is a high rate of violence against women. In a study conducted Thirty-four percent of women in the sample were ever beaten by their current husband while 16% were beaten in the past year. Ever-beaten women were more likely to report health problems necessitating medical attention as were women beaten in the past year compared to never-beaten women (Diop-Sidibé). It’s sad how this violence can effect so many other parts of a woman’s health. The thing that I found interesting about Egypt was that the women there are very educated, and usually this is linked with higher gender equality and lower levels of domestic violence, but in Egypt this is not the case. I was wondering if you found this to be true in India? Another point that you mentioned that I wish to know more about is how domestic violence can cause genetic mutation. I remember watching a documentary on how some traumas that we experience can be so impactful that it alters our actual DNA, and is something that we can then pass that trauma on to pour children. I’m not sure how scientifically accurate this claim was but it was a very interesting theory.

    Diop-Sidibé, N. (2005, August 31). Domestic violence against women in Egypt-wife beating and health outcomes. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953605003953

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