Intimate Partner Rape (IPR) is a pervasive form of gender-based violence and a topical human rights issue. This study investigated the causes and consequences of Intimate Partner Rape and violence as reported by selected married women in Nigeria. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 22 purposively selected married women aged, 22 to 40 years from two Save Our Soul (SOS) Shelters for Abused Women who have been victims of Intimate Partner Rape/Violence. Qualitative data on Intimate Partner Rape/violence experiences and associated factors was collected through eight Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). Descriptive analysis was used for the demographic characteristics of the participants. The transcription of the recorded audio cassettes, together with the recorded field notes, provided data for the thematic analysis. The discussions revealed that the principal causes of Intimate Partner Rape/Violence were unequal power relations; alcohol and drug dependence and jealousy. Self-reported consequences of Intimate Partner Rape/Violence by victims included amongst others: physical injury (31.87%) constant headaches (27.27%); sleep disturbances (18.18%); excessive fear and anxiety (9.09%); suicidal ideation (9.09%) and hatred for men (4.55%). These findings confirm that Intimate Partner Rape/Violence may be playing significant but salient role in the poor state of health of Nigerian women. Accordingly, effective intervention strategies at all levels are needed to address it.
Key words: Intimate partner rape/violence, married women, Nigeria, causes, consequences.
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