Social values and status cause diverse obstacles for escaping abuse (e.g., belief in the sanctity of marriage vs. financial necessity to stay for survival). India provides a unique opportunity to explore the interplay of status and corresponding patriarchal values in relation to the incidence of domestic violence and how it is viewed, coped with, and psychologically impacting native women. Sixty-four women of Tamil Nadu, India were surveyed. Women of higher status were found to be less likely to acknowledge abuse as a societal problem, accurately identify abuse events, and seek help or report abuse. Women who had more realistic conceptions of abuse were more likely to seek help but also likely to experience more severe psychological distress. All of the women surveyed had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that were exacerbated by unsuspected variables. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of public health strategies.
- Domestic violence
- Socioeconomic status
- Women in India
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science