We investigated the effect of women’s exposure to the civil conflict that occurred in Peru between 1980 and 2000 on their probability of experiencing domestic violence (DV) during the years 2005-2008. We find that the effect is positive and substantially large, especially for exposure during a woman’s late childhood and early teenage years.
We also find that at least one of the mechanisms through which exposure to civil conflict affects DV is by changing women’s attitudes towards violence. Women who were more exposed to the civil conflict at a young age are more likely to report that it is justified for men to beat women for various reasons. An important implication of the findings in this paper is that civil conflicts may have long term effects on increasing the level of domestic violence in the society, not only for the generation that was directly exposed to those conflicts, but for future generations as well.