Study objectives We aimed to estimate the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and associated risk factors in married women in rural villages of Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan. Methods A cross-sectional design to assess the magnitude and factors associated with IPV in a random sample of 789 married women aged 18–49 years. A World Health Organization screening instrument was used to assess the presence of IPV in the previous 12 months. A locally validated instrument was adopted to identify self-reported symptoms of major depression according to the DSM IV. Trained nurses obtained socio-demographic and reproductive history through structured interviews. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to estimate prevalence and identify significant predictors of IPV. Results The mean age of the participants was 38.3 years (SD: ±12.8). The prevalence of IPV in women was 22.8% (95% Confidence Interval: 20.0–25.9), 18.5% in pregnant women (95% CI: 11.7–27.9) and significantly associated with depression in 55.1% of IPV cases. Husband education level (college/higher) (Adjusted Odds Ratio: 0.40; 95%CI: 0.22–0.70) and high household income (AOR: 0.44; 95% CI: 0.29–0.68) were protective against IPV. Increase in age (AOR;1.02; 95% CI: 1.01–1.02) and poor relationship with mother-in-law increased the risk of IPV (AOR = 2.85; 95% CI: 1.90–4.28). IPV was positively associated with symptoms of depression (AOR = 1.97; 95% CI:1.39–2.77), poor perceived quality of life (AOR = 3.54; 95% CI: 1.90–6.58) and poor health (AOR = 2.74; 95% CI: 1.92–3.92). Conclusion IPV is substantial public health burden significantly associated with depressive symptoms, poor perceived health and the quality of life.
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