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