Nearly 30% women in India who were married at some point in their life experienced spousal violence (physical and/or sexual in nature), according to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21). While the overall share of women who experienced spousal violence has marginally reduced from NFHS-4 (2015-16), it has increased significantly in several major States including Karnataka and Maharashtra. However, the majority of such incidents are unreported. Data from phase 1 of the survey show that in States such as Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, over 70% of women who experienced such violence neither sought help nor told anyone about the incident. What is further worrying is that the number of complaints received by the National Commission of Women (NCW) against domestic violence in 2021 is the highest in the last 12 years.
The map shows the share of married women (%) who experienced spousal violence (physical and/or sexual in nature) in India. Karnataka (44.4%) and Bihar (40%) were the two States where the maximum % of married women said they faced spousal violence.
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Change from NFHS-4
The map shows the change in the share of married women (% points) who experienced spousal violence in NFHS-5 from NFHS-4. In eight of the 35 States/UTs, spousal violence increased between the two survey periods.