The Legacy of Wartime Violence on Intimate-Partner Abuse: Microlevel Evidence from Peru, 1980–2009

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Østby, Gudrun; Michele Leiby & Ragnhild Nordås (2019) The Legacy of Wartime Violence on Intimate-Partner Abuse: Microlevel Evidence from Peru, 1980–2009, International Studies Quarterly 63(1): 1–46.

While we know that war can have wide-ranging consequences for life expectancy, social capital, and political participation, we know little about how wartime violence affects intimate relationships. Existing literature suggests that conflict violence could increase the risk of intimate-partner violence, but lacks compelling statistical evidence to evaluate this claim. We test this proposition with newly available data on conflict-related violence and the Demographic and Health Surveys data on intimate-partner violence in Peru. We find that exposure to general conflict violence significantly increases the risk of intimate-partner abuse and that these effects are particularly pronounced for conflict-related sexual violence. This information should help policy makers and practitioners improve the efficacy of domestic violence prevention programs by identifying and targeting populations most at risk.

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