Intimate Partner Violence in Sri Lanka

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse by an intimate partner (boyfriend/husband) or a former partner. The majority of victims of IPV are women. Women in South Asia have been found to be at a greater risk for IPV than women in other parts of the world.


Evidence from Sri Lanka highlights up to 80% of women in different locations have experienced IPV at some time during their life. Knowledge of IPV in SL is based on limited research drawn mainly from the Sinhalese majority community due to a 25-year long civil war, with  limited access to Sri Lanka’s Tamil community in the North and East. Previous work among the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Canada and Tamils in eastern Sri Lanka as well as recent studies in the Sinhalese communities in Sri Lanka and Canada show that IPV is often overlooked, under-reported, and poorly managed. 

About the Project

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious health issue that disproportionately affects women worldwide. Evidence from Sri Lanka highlights the pervasiveness of IPV, its health, social, and economic consequences, the significant role the health sector can play in addressing IPV, and the lack of local research on effective interventions. 

Through a Canada-Sri Lanka research partnership, the project will identify gaps in knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as best practices to address IPV in healthcare delivery in Sri Lanka. The project’s key activities include a comprehensive IPV literature review, creation of a database, field research, a two-day symposium in Sri Lanka, a half-day policy dialogue in Sri Lanka, and a knowledge-sharing and partnership-building event in Toronto, Canada. The project will help raise awareness about IPV among healthcare, community, and policy stakeholders, and develop a strong IPV prevention and treatment network. It will also improve research capacity and knowledge-sharing/dissemination between stakeholders, and build a base of support for further research.