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Original Articles

Weapons used to harm female victims of intimate partner violence and community violence

Authors:

Maria Ulnes ,

University of Gothenburg, SE
About Maria
Faculty of Medicine
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Hanna Hultquist,

University of Gothenburg, SE
About Hanna
Faculty of Medicine
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Manjika M. Sithum,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Manjika M.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Muditha Vidanapathirana,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Muditha
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Kumudu Wijewardene,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Kumudu
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Lena Anderson

The Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, SE
About Lena
Department of Community Medicine and Public Health
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Abstract

Introduction

The pattern of intimate partner violence has not been studied in-depth in Sri Lanka. The aim of this study was to investigate the weapons use among women exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) and to compare with community violence (CV).

 

Method

A retrospective, comparative cross-sectional study of women who have undergone medico-legal examination after reporting IPV or CV to a tertiary care hospital, in Colombo, Sri Lanka years from January 2011 to December 2012 was conducted. Of 9000 Medico-Legal Examination Forms, women above 18 years who had reported IPV and CV were studied.

 

Results

The prevalence of reported cases of IPV was 2.8%and CV was 5%. Of them, 255 (36%) IPV and 449 (64%) CV were reported. IPV was common among young, married, unemployed women (p<0.05). The most common weapon was the wooden bar (n=91, 13%). Alcohol is a significant factor (p<0.05) but the use of ‘weapons’ was not significantly associated (p>0.05). Assault with a weapon was common at home in the morning and resulted in severe injuries (p<0.05). CV occurred outside home by multiple, known perpetrators and the known perpetrators used ‘occasional weapons’ and unknown perpetrators used weapons (p<0.05). 

 

Conclusions

Women exposed to IPV were young, married and unemployed. Most assaults were due to manhandling while sexual violence reports were fewer than expected. Weapon assaults are common at home in the morning and result in severe injuries but not associated with alcohol abuse. There were many similarities between IPV and CV assaults which indicate that both groups take their basis in a gender-unequal society that breeds violence. The victim knew the abuser, not only in the IPV group as expected but also in the CV group.CV occurs outside the home by known perpetrators using ‘occasional weapons’. CV in Sri Lanka and worldwide is an almost unexplored area that needs to be further investigated in order to develop evidence-based intervention programmes.
How to Cite: Ulnes, M., Hultquist, H., Sithum, M.M., Vidanapathirana, M., Wijewardene, K. and Anderson, L., 2018. Weapons used to harm female victims of intimate partner violence and community violence. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 6(1), pp.17–21. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v6i1.7367
Published on 28 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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