Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

Pattern of domestic violence amongst non-fatal deliberate self-harm attempters: A study from primary care of West Bengal

Institute of Psychiatry, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Arabinda N Chowdhury
HA 244, Sector III, Salt Lake, Kolkata-700 097
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.49448

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Objective : Evaluation of various clinico-demographic variables and pattern of domestic violence in non-fatal deliberate self-harm (DSH) attempters admitted in 3 Block Primary Health Centers (BPHC) of Sundarban region of West Bengal, India in the year 2002. Materials and Methods: A prospective study of 89 DSH cases admitted at 3 Sundarban BPHCs by using a specially designed DSH register and a questionnaire on domestic violence in Bengali along with detail clinical interview. Results: Among the total of 89 DSH cases (23 male and 66 female), young (less than 30 years), female sex, low education and married status constituted major part of the sample. Pesticide poisoning was the commonest mode of DSH attempt. Typical stressors found were marital conflict or conflict with in-laws or guardian. A majority of DSH attempters (69.6%) experienced more than one form of domestic violence. Poverty and unemployment in the family were strongly associated with domestic violence. Among female DSH attempters, the most common perpetrator was husband (48.48%) followed by in-laws (16.67%) and parent (34.78%) was the most common perpetrator among males. Conclusion: Both DSH and domestic violence are serious socio-clinical issue of a major public health concern in the Sundarban region. Stressful life situations and various types of victimizations in the family intermixed with easy availability of lethal pesticides in this agriculture dependent community may facilitate the impulse of self-harm behavior, especially among the young housewives. Timely psychosocial intervention through community psychiatry program may mitigate the impact of psycho-cultural stressors and thus may help to reduce the morbidity and mortality from DSH.



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