The high level of intimate partner violence against women in many population groups in Ethiopia and the risk factors associated with the practice is not well understood among scholars and decision makers. This study examined the prevalence and risk factors associated with intimate partner violence in Sidama, a populous zone in Southern Ethiopia. A combination of simple random and multistage sampling techniques were used to select 1094 households, comprising women and men participants, for the field study. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained using structured questionnaire and focus group discussions. Household, women and husband characteristics were used as explanatory variables while intimate partner violence served as the dependent variable. The study revealed that the prevalence of intimate partners’ violence is high in the study population (ranging from 14.7 to 61.2%) with physical violence (beating, causing physical damage and slapping) accounting for the largest share of the overall abusive acts. The predicted probability, using logistic regression shows that literate women living with alcoholic husbands, women engaged in gainful income generating activities and women living in food insecure households were more susceptible to intimate partner violence. The study concluded that while the main determinants are generally embedded in the socio-cultural practices and attitudes of the community, there are certain individual and household level variables which significantly affect its likely occurrence.
Key words: Intimate partner, violence, Sidama zone, Southern Ethiopia.
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