National Women's Health Survey for Trinidad and Tobago: Final Report
Pemberton, Cecile; Joseph, Joel
This report presents the first nationally representative estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence (NPSV) against women in Trinidad and Tobago. The data come from the 2017 Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Health Survey (WHS)—a national, quantitative, cross-sectional survey of 1,079 women ages 15–64. The report finds that 30 percent of ever-partnered women experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime; and 6 percent in the 12 months prior to data collection. Seven percent of all respondents reported having been forced into sexual intercourse by a non-partner in their lifetime (1 percent in the last 12 months). Significant risk factors associated with IPV identified using Chi-square tests included: lower education (female and partner), cohabitation without marriage, rural residency, younger age, non-consensual marriage, having been pregnant, having experienced or witnessed violence in childhood, substance abuse by the partner and the partner being unemployed and having been in prior relationships. The report documents the negative consequences of IPV for women and their children, as well as the most common responses and coping mechanisms. One in three women who experienced IPV remained quiet about their experience and most survivors did not seek or receive assistance for their situation. Women most often sought help from their personal contacts (mostly their mothers) rather than police, social services or other entities adequately resourced to address IPV. Several factors precluded women from accessing help; these included fear, shame, and the normalcy associated with violence. Based on these findings, recommendations for policy and further research are presented.