Hidden casualties: The links between armed conflict and intimate partner violence in Colombia
preprintposted on 16.10.2020, 13:40 by Signe SvallforsSigne Svallfors
The Colombian peace process was internationally celebrated for its unprecedented focus on women’s experiences of war, but the everyday violence women may face in their homes was not acknowledged. This article explores the links between local armed conflict violence and individual women’s experiences of intimate partner violence, contributing a systematic framework of multiple micro- and macro-level mechanisms that could generate a positive relationship between the two. The study combines pooled nationally representative data on individual women’s experiences from intimate partner violence with information about the intensity of local conflict violence during the period 2004–2016. Results from fixed effects linear probability models show that conflict generally linked to a slightly elevated risk of women experiencing physical and sexual violence perpetrated by their partner. The association to emotional violence was, however, negligible. Among women who had experienced IPV, conflict related to an increased probability of being partnered at interview, which could potentially reflect women staying in abusive relationships because conflict normalizes violence or increases women’s reluctance to leave those relationships. If so, conflict not only puts women at more risk of violence in their relationships, but also exacerbates the vulnerability of women who are already victimized.