Domestic violence affects one in three women in their lifetime worldwide, and has serious adverse health and economic consequences. Analysing data from the latest National Family Health Survey of India, this article finds that a delay in women's marriage by a year reduces the probability of less severe physical violence by 7 percentage points, and that of severe physical violence by 4 percentage points.
Domestic violence affects one in three women in their lifetime worldwide. Women who suffer domestic violence experience serious adverse health consequences including injury, emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, physical symptoms of severe illness, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintended pregnancies (see, for example, Campbell 2002, Coker et al. 2002). The cost of domestic violence to an economy in terms of victim’s suffering, medical bills, lost productivity, judicial expenditures, and the lost productivity from the incarcerated offender, is massive. 1 In Dhamija and Roychowdhury (2018), we provide the first causal analysis of the impact of women’s age at marriage on their exposure to domestic violence–and more specifically spousal violence. Our study uses newly available nationally representative data from India, where according to a 2014 BBC report, one incident of domestic violence is reported in every five minutes (which, of course, is only a fraction of how much actually occurs).