The impact of violence against women on reproductive health and child mortality in Timor-Leste Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine differences in reproductive health and infant and child mortality and health between abused and non-abused ever-married women in Timor-Leste.Secondary data analysis of Timor-Leste Demographic Health Survey (1,959 ever-married women aged 15-49 years). Associations with violence estimated using multinomial logistic regression adjusted for sociodemographic variables and age of first intercourse.Overall, 45% of ever-married women experienced violence: 34% reported physical only and 11% reported combined physical, sexual and/or emotional violence. Compared to non-abused women, women reporting physical violence only were more likely to use traditional contraception (AdjOR 2.35, 95%CI 1.05-5.26) or report: a sexually transmitted infection (AdjOR 4.46, 95%CI 3.27-6.08); a pregnancy termination (AdjOR 1.42, 95%CI 1.03-1.96); a child who had died (AdjOR 1.30, 95%CI 1.05-1.60), a low birth weight infant (AdjOR 2.08, 95%CI 1.64-2.64); and partially vaccinated children (AdjOR 1.35, 95%CI 1.05-1.74). Women who reported combined abuse were more likely to report: a sexually transmitted infection (AdjOR 3.51, 95%CI 2.26-5.44); a pregnancy termination (AdjOR 1.95, 95%CI 1.27-3.01); few antenatal visits (AdjOR 1.76 95%CI 1.21-2.55); and a child who had died (AdjOR 1.45, 95%CI 1.06-2.00).Violence exposes women to poor reproductive health, infant and child mortality and poor infant and child health.Preventing and reducing violence against women should improve women and children's health outcomes in Timor-Leste.

publication date

  • 2015

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