ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By K G Santhya

Access to Facilities for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

In India, 29% of women aged 15–49 have experienced marital violence. Although crisis centres, known as helplines, exist to support those who experience violence, little is known about the experiences of women who use these services. Two rounds of surveys of 200 women who approached the government-sponsored helplines, conducted about four months apart, reveal that physical and sexual violence perpetrated by husbands and/or family members fell significantly in the inter-survey period. Women were also less likely to report suicidal thoughts and many reported a sense of economic security, happiness, self-confidence, and peace of mind. These findings underscore the importance of facilities offering women a haven in which they may learn about their options, have access to empathetic advocates, and secure support for addressing the violence they face at home.

Early Marriage and HIV/AIDS

Available programmatic sexual and reproductive health initiatives have focused disproportionately on the unmarried and on premarital sexual activity. Married young people have received little attention as a vulnerable group with distinct needs because marriage is assumed to be safe and because married adolescents and young people are assumed to face none of the stigma that their unmarried counterparts experience in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Emerging evidence highlights that neither of these assumptions are tenable. Within the sub-population of young people, married young women constitute a group with distinct risks of human immunodeficiency virus and face a host of obstacles in making informed sexual and reproductive health decisions.