Domestic violence in rural Uganda: Evidence from a community-based study

Michael A. Koenig, Tom Lutalo, Feng Zhao, Fred Nalugoda, Fred Wabwire-Mangen, Noah Kiwanuka, Jennifer Wagman, David Serwadda, Maria Wawer, Ron Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Although domestic violence is an increasing public health concern in developing countries, evidence from representative, community-based studies is limited. In a survey of 5109 women of reproductive age in the Rakai District of Uganda, 30% of women had experienced physical threats or physical abuse from their current partner - 20% during the year before the survey. Three of five women who reported recent physical threats or abuse reported three or more specific acts of violence during the preceding year, and just under a half reported injuries as a result. Analysis of risk factors highlights the pivotal roles of the male partner's alcohol consumption and his perceived human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk in increasing the risk of male against female domestic violence. Most respondents - 70% of men and 90% of women - viewed beating of the wife or female partner as justifiable in some circumstances, posing a central challenge to preventing violence in such settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Alcohol drinking/adverse effects
  • HIV infections
  • Knowledge, attitudes, practice
  • Regression analysis
  • Risk factors
  • Sex behavior
  • Spouse abuse
  • Uganda (source: MeSH, NLM)
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Domestic violence in rural Uganda: Evidence from a community-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this