The influence of family violence and child marriage on unmet need for family planning in Jordan

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Abstract

Background

Risk for unmet need for contraception is associated with men's perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women and may be influenced by violence perpetrated by other family members (family violence, FV). Women who married as minors may be most vulnerable to the potential compounding effect of IPV and FV on unmet need.

Aim

Using nationally representative data from the 2012 Jordan Population and Family Health Survey we examined unmet need by exposure to IPV and FV by women's age at marriage (<18, 18+ years).

Design

Logistic regression was used to test whether IPV and FV were independently associated with unmet need, by age at marriage. Interaction terms (IPV×FV) were tested in both models. Stratification by FV was employed to clarify the interpretation of significant interactions.

Results

IPV increased the odds of unmet need by 87% [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.87; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.13–3.10] and 76% (AOR 1.76; 95% CI 1.30–2.38) among women who married prior to and after the age of 18 years, respectively. Women married as minors who experienced IPV and FV had a four-fold higher likelihood of having an unmet need (AOR 6.75; 95% CI 1.95–23.29) compared to those experiencing only IPV (AOR 1.49; 95% CI 0.84–2.38). No interaction between IPV and FV was detected for women married at or above majority.

Conclusions

Laws that prohibit child marriage should be strengthened and health sector screening for violence experience could help identify women at risk of unmet need and improve women's reproductive agency.

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