In a survey of about 1,95,000 women who had ever been in a relationship across three South Asian nations, including India, researchers found a correlation between a 1 degree Celsius increase in the annual average temperature and a 4.5% increase in intimate partner violence (IPV).

By the end of the twenty-first century, they project that there will be a 21% rise in family violence in the area, with India expected to have the biggest growth of the three—23.5%—along with Nepal and Pakistan.

Women who have had intercourse, been married, or been in a romantic relationship are considered to be ever-partnered.

The research was published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry under the title “Association of Ambient Temperature With the Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Among Partnered Women in Low and Middle-Income South Asian Countries.”

“Given the higher prevalence of IPV in South Asia compared to the global level, and the region’s recent history of more frequent and intense heatwaves, we conducted this study to evaluate the association of ambient temperature with IPV prevalence, including its types — physical, sexual, and emotional — among partnered women,” said the study’s co-author, Renjie Chen, of Fudan University in China, in an email to PTI.

The cross-sectional research employed self-reported data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Programme, gathered from October 1, 2010, to April 30, 2018, and included ever-partnered women in the 15–49 age range from India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

The DHS Programme, which is present in more than 90 nations and regularly conducts surveys every three to five years, is in charge of gathering and distributing precise, nationally representative data on population and health in low- and middle-income nations.

According to the report, physical violence is most common among the women polled (23%), followed by emotional violence (12.5%), and sexual violence (9.5%).

By modeling changes in IPV prevalence under various future climate change scenarios through the 2090s, the study further projects increases in physical and sexual violence resulting from hotter temperatures to 28.3 percent and 26.1 percent, respectively, far greater than the projected rise in emotional violence at 8.9 percent.

Under a scenario with limitless carbon emissions, India is predicted to have the biggest growth in IPV prevalence in the 2090s at 23.5%, followed by Nepal at 14.8% and Pakistan at 5.9%.

Higher ambient temperatures have been connected in the past to a variety of violent expressions, including deliberate killing, group violence, and even regional wars.

According to Chen, the heat-aggression theory is probably to blame for the violence brought on by extreme heat.

The idea is that hot weather may make people more likely to act aggressively, both directly by making people feel hostile and indirectly by making them think aggressively.

What exactly are the consequences of a warmer climate that lead to domestic violence?great heat may also directly engage brain regions linked to emotion control and thermoregulation in a warming environment, which is characterized by increasingly severe and frequent heatwaves. Under specific circumstances, such as provocation, great heat may also directly stimulate high levels of anger.

“Acute heat exposure is associated with elevated adrenaline production, which might raise physiological arousal. Furthermore, heat-related incidents may be linked to a number of negative mental health consequences, raising the likelihood of IPV.

A worsening living environment as a result of damage from major weather events might potentially compound the problem of intimate partner violence, Chen said. “Further, economically strenuous circumstances from decreased agricultural production and labor efficiency to a deteriorating living environment,” Chen said.

Researchers have discovered historical evidence that suggests violence occurred in the south central Andes during a climate transition between AD 470 and 1500. As a typical indicator of intergroup violence among archaeologists, they looked for head injuries among the people who were residing there at the time.

In their archaeological study, “Climate Change Intensified Violence in the South-Central Andean Highlands from 1.5 to 0.5 KA (AD 470-1540),” the researchers put forth the hypothesis that possible competition for scarce resources in the area brought on by climate change impacts most likely contributed to the violence among highland residents. On June 5, the investigation was published in the journal Quaternary Research.

The study’s results point to the necessity for public health initiatives to address intimate partner violence in climate-sensitive locations, as well as sustainable climate mitigation, the researchers said in their report.

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