Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or threats occurring between two people in a relationship. Intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which estimates victimization rates based on household and individual surveys, 4.2 per 1,000 females aged 12 and older were victims of nonfatal IPV between 2001 and 2005; this rate represents 21.5 percent of all nonfatal violent victimizations committed against females, which include rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. Additionally, between 1976 and 2005, intimate partners committed 30.1 percent of homicides against females. IPV varies with a number of factors including age, race/ ethnicity, income, and marital status.

In 2001–2005, women aged 20–24 years had the highest rate of IPV (11.3 per 1,000), followed by women aged 25–34 years (8.1 per 1,000). Women aged 50–64 years and 12–15 years were least likely to have reported IPV (1.3 and 1.6 per 1,000, respectively).

American Indian/Alaska Native females experienced the highest rate of intimate partner victimization (11.1 per 1,000 females). The second highest rate occurred among Black females (5.0 per 1,000), while Asian females were least likely to be victims of IPV (1.4 per 1,000). During this same time period, females in households with annual incomes below $7,500 had the highest rate of intimate partner victimization (12.7 per 1,000), while those in households with annual incomes of $50,000 or more were least likely to have reported IPV (2.0 per 1,000; data not shown).

IPV may have negative effects on the health and well-being of children whose mothers experience violence. Children whose mothers experience IPV are significantly more likely than other children to visit the emergency department1 and three times more likely to receive mental health services after cessation of the violence.2 In 2001–2005, children were present in 216,490 (35.2 percent) households experiencing IPV (data not shown).

1 Bair-Merritt MH, Feudtner C, Localio AR, Feinstein JA, Rubin D, Holmes WC. Health Care Use of Children Whose Female Caregivers Have Intimate Partner Violence Histories. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. [online] 2008; 162(2): 134-139., accessed 02/26/08.
2 Rivara FP, Anderson ML, Fushman P, Bonomi AE, Reid RJ, Carrell D, Thompson RS. Intimate Partner Violence and Health Care Costs and Utilization for Children Living in the Home. Pediatrics. 2007; 120(6): 1270-1277.

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