BACKGROUND: Violence against children is a deep-rooted social problem in India. The problem is also related to economic as well as cultural beliefs and practices. The objective of this study was to ascertain the prevalence and nature of violence experienced by the children in families in Tripura, India and its relationship with socio-economic factors. METHODS: A group of 320 children (160 males and 160 females) studying in Class VIII and IX and aged between 14-19 participated in the study after obtaining their informed consent from eight randomly selected English and Bengali medium schools in Agartala, Tripura (India). Data were collected by using a specially designed ‘Semi-structured Questionnaire’. RESULTS: Findings revealed that about 20.9% (67/320), 21.9% (70/230) and 18.1% (58/230) of the children experienced psychological, physical and sexual violence respectively. Male children were more likely to be victims of psychological and physical violence while female children experienced more sexual violence (p=sign). Further analysis of data revealed some relationship between violence against children and nuclear family (p=sign), uncongenial and/or disturbed family environment (p=sign) and dominating, short-tempered and/or aggressive parent personality (p=sign), irrespective of the nature of the violence. Physical violence was found to be more prevalent in high income families (p=sign) while children from the lower income group of families experienced more psychological violence (p=sign). Sexual violence was found to be equally prevalent in all socio-economic groups. The study also clearly indicated that academic performance of violence-experienced children, irrespective of nature of violence and socio-economic groups was poor compared to academic performance of non-violence-experienced children (p=sign). CONCLUSIONS: About one-fifth of the children under study did experience violence in Tripura. Findings speak in favor of an intervention program for creating awareness among parents and teachers about the issue of violence against children, targeted at parents when they meet for periodic parent-teachers meetings in the educational institutions.
J Inj Violence Res. 2010 Jan; 2(1): 5-18. doi:10.5249/jivr.v2i1.31
Copyright. In accordance with Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (released June 20, 2003, available from: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/bethesda.htm), all works published in JIVR are open access and are immediately available to anyone on the website of the journal without cost. JIVR is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.