In Sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of intimate partner violence are high, knowing the prevalence of abuse and associated patterns of risk is crucial to ensuring women's health and development. Intimate partner violence in Tanzania has not been assessed through a population-based survey. A household-based sample of women aged 20-44 in the urban district of Moshi, Tanzania, participated in face-to-face interviews in 2002-2003. The lifetime prevalence of exposure to intimate partner violence and the prevalence of exposure during the past 12 months were assessed among 1,444 women who reported having a current partner. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with intimate partner violence. Twenty-one percent of women reported having experienced intimate partner violence (i.e., having been threatened with physical abuse, subjected to physical abuse or forced into intercourse by a partner) during the previous 12 months; 26% reported such an experience at any time, including the past 12 months. The likelihood of violence in the past year was elevated if the woman had had problems conceiving or had borne five or more children (odds ratios, 1.9 and 2.4, respectively); if her husband or partner had other partners (2.0) or contributed little to expenses for her and her children (3.3); and if she had had no more than a primary education (1.7). Gender inequality within sexual unions is associated with intimate partner violence. Policies and programs that discourage men from blaming women for infertility, promote monogamous unions and expand access to education for women may reduce intimate partner violence in northern urban Tanzania.

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