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Women’s Individual Asset Ownership and Experience of Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence From 28 International Surveys


Objectives. To assess the oft-perceived protective relationship between women’s asset ownership and experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the previous 12 months.

Methods. We used international survey data from women aged 15 to 49 years from 28 Demographic and Health Surveys (2010–2014) to examine the association between owning assets and experience of recent IPV, matching on household wealth by using multivariate probit models. Matching methods helped to account for the higher probability that women in wealthier households also have a higher likelihood of owning assets.

Results. Asset ownership of any type was negatively associated with IPV in 3 countries, positively associated in 5 countries, and had no significant relationship in 20 countries (P < .10). Disaggregation by asset type, sole or joint ownership, women’s age, and community level of women’s asset ownership similarly showed no conclusive patterns.

Conclusions. Results suggest that the relationship between women’s asset ownership and IPV is highly context specific. Additional methodologies and data are needed to identify causality, and to understand how asset ownership differs from other types of women’s economic empowerment.


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Publication date: 2017

Author(s): Amber Peterman, Audrey Pereira, Jennifer Bleck, Tia Palermo, Kathryn M. Yount

Journal: American Journal of Public Health

Volume: 107

No.: 5

Page(S): 747-755

Language: English

Peer reviewed: YES