Associations between bride price stress and intimate partner violence amongst pregnant women in Timor-Leste

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Original Article

One of the greatest public health challenges of our time is to assist countries affected by the dual problems of extreme poverty and exposure to mass conflict to achieve sustainable peace and economic advancement [1]. The pivotal role of women in achieving these goals has been emphasized, but their capacity to participate fully in development is compromised by a range of risk factors affecting their health and well-being, including exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) [2]. Evidence is conclusive that IPV represents a pervasive risk factor for adverse physical and mental health outcomes amongst women in low income, conflict-affected countries [3]. The scale of harm caused to women has elevated IPV to a central focus in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Several factors are known to converge in contributing to the high rates of IPV in lowincome countries including gender inequality, societal tolerance and supportive attitudes of violence against women, poverty, male underemployment, low education in women, childhood exposure to abuse, and male alcohol and drug use. [4, 5] Yet, given the pervasive nature of these risk factors, major questions remain as to why some men resort to violence whereas others do not.

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