Survey finds physical abuse in non-marital relationships among youth in Pune

A survey conducted among youth in Pune has revealed that even in non-marital relationships physical abuse co-occurred with emotional or sexual abuse
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Published on Mar 19, 2021 11:50 PM IST
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ByNamrata Devikar, Pune

A survey conducted among youth in Pune has revealed that even in non-marital relationships physical abuse co-occurred with emotional or sexual abuse.

Of those reporting physical abuse, 64 percent reported emotional abuse, and 35 percent reported sexual abuse.

Researchers found that physical abuse in the form of slapping, pushing, pinching, pulling hair, twisting hands, beating up was reported by 13.8 percent women and 2.9 percent men.

The survey was conducted by the Prayas health group based in Pune. The study was focused on unmarried youth between the ages of 20 to 29 years.

A total of 1,240 participants were enrolled in the study out of which 653 were men, 584 were women, and three participants marked their gender as other.

The median age of the participants was 23 years.

Trupti Darak, one of the researchers on the team said that this study is important as it explores the challenges the youth of this city is facing.

“We often focus on marital relationships, but non-marital relationships are becoming a norm among youth and they face a plethora of circumstances in their relationships. We have found that many participants, men as well as women have experienced sexual abuse in their childhood, and this affects their relationships now. We have also seen that many participants are fearful and uncertain about their next relationships because of previous experiences,” said Darak.

She further added that due to the stigma attached to the non-marital relationship, there were no support systems present for the participants. The study also finds that emotional and physical abuse was reported more in serious relationships compared to when the relationships were labeled as casual or exploring.

However, sexual abuse did not differ according to the type of relationship.

“Due to no support systems for the victims, they never shared any abuse with their family and so, they were very burdened for this, this resulted in depression, mental health issues, and anxiety. It is important that we look at these relationships very seriously as they affect the future decisions of the youth,” said Darak.

The negative experiences during childhood such as experiencing sexual abuse during childhood, restriction by family, and experiencing severe parental disputes in the form of frequent quarrels or fights between parents were also factors related to higher reporting of sexual abuse, revealed the study.

Key Findings

Info: A survey has revealed that physical abuse co-occurred with emotional or sexual abuse in non-martial relationships

*65% of participants reported experience of at least one form of child sexual abuse.

The proportion of women experiencing any form of child sexual abuse was significantly higher than men (86% vs 47%).

*More women (61%) reported depression compared to men (39%)

* 84% women and 70% men of the participants reported having at least one relationship.

*Almost 10% of the participants reported having five or more relationships that lasted for at least a month.

*Of the 252 men who ever reported depression, a majority (89%) reported only one episode. Of the 390 women who ever reported depression, 65% reported only one episode and 35% reported more than one episode.

*Of the total episodes of depression, 333 episodes were reported within 12 months from the interview dates and can be considered as current episodes of depression. Of these current episodes, 218 (65.5%) episodes were among women and 115 (34.5%) were among men.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021