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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


KLEVENS, Joanne. Physical violence against women in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia: prevalence and related factors. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.9, n.2, pp.78-83. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. Estimate the magnitude of the problem of violence in intimate relationships affecting women in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, and identify the factors related to the risk of being battered. Methods. The data analyzed were collected between September 1998 and September 1999 from interviews with 3 971 women who had a child less than 6 months old. The women interviewed were ones using public health services in the Suba area of Bogotá, either for pediatric attention (well-baby services, vaccination, an ill child) or for childbirth. Out of the 3 971 women, 10 of them declined to participate, and 804 of them were not in an intimate relationship and were excluded from the analyses. Results. Of the 3 157 participants, 26.5% of them reported that their current partner had slapped or pushed them, and 13.3% reported they had been hit with a fist, kicked, hit with some object, or beaten, or threatened with a knife or gun. In addition, 26.2% of the women said that their partner imposed some prohibition on them (on social activities, work, family planning, etc.). In the bivariate analyses, violence was significantly associated with: less schooling and lower income (P < 0.001), having more children (P < 0.001), a longer period of time living with the partner (P < 0.001), more frequent conflict with the partner (P <0.001), not having other family members living in the home (P < 0.01), a history of abuse in the family of origin (P < 0.001), and prohibitions imposed by the partner (P < 0.001). According to multivariate analysis, the two factors most strongly related with violence were frequency of conflict with the partner and prohibitions imposed by the partner. Conclusions. Public health services are a good place to identify victims of domestic violence, and early detection and intervention programs should be established there. Services to support and protect victims should be expanded and strengthened in order to provide those persons with guidance, legal assistance, education, and job training. Appropriate alternative services for aggressors also need to be developed.

Keywords : Violencia intrafamiliar; maltrato de la mujer; salud maternoinfantil.

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