Effect of Violence against Women on Victims and their Children: Evidence from Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti

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Mar 2021
This paper presents a systematic overview of the evidence of violence against women in the Central America, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, and Dominican Republic region and examines its impact on the well-being of women and their children. Population-based surveys show that violence against women remains a widespread issue in the region. The proportion of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime varies between 13% and 53%; Panama has the lowest rate while Mexico and El Salvador have the highest. The percentage of women who have experienced violence within private spheres ranges between 17% and 24%. Also, homicidal violence targeting women remains a major problem in the region. Using a novel propensity score reweighting technique, we assess the impact of violence on a series of outcome variables related to a womans health and socioeconomic condition. We find evidence that violence against women negatively affects victims reproductive and physical health as well as their fertility preferences. We also find evidence that violence against mothers has an adverse effect on childrens advancement in school and overall health.