Introduction The objective of this study is to identify the risk factors underlying the occurrence of DV in an eastern Saudi community.
Methods The study included 2000 ever-married women aged 15–60 years while attending 10 randomly selected primary healthcare centers in Al Ahsa-KSA. Data were gathered through interviews using structured Arabic questionnaire. It included enquiry about the lifetime occurrence of violence, its types and determinants (personal, sociodemographic, paternal, maternal and other risk factors). Bivariate analysis was carried. Four Multivariate logistic regression (MLR) models were fitted to identify the significant risk factors in each type of violence.
Results The prevalence of overall, mental, physical and sexual violence is 39.3%, 35.9%, 17.9% and 6.9% respectively. The significant determinants of overall violence (MLR) are urban residence; wife's parental problems; husband problems with police and wife, smoking, fighting with others, being a victim of violence as a child, observed his mother being abused, and not spending enough time with family. The presence of each form of violence was significantly associated with the occurrence of others (p=0.000). MLR revealed differences in the determinants of each type of violence. Marital discord was significant in all forms. Alcoholism and having problems with police only associated with sexual abuse. Protective factors are education except in postgraduate women, higher income status, and spending more time with family.
Conclusion Educating couples and increasing public awareness about risk factors is recommended. Healthcare providers are to follow high risk approach in identifying women exposed to violence based on identified factors.