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Am J Prev Med. 2006 Jun;30(6):447-57.

Intimate partner violence: prevalence, types, and chronicity in adult women.

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  • 1Center for Health Studies, Department of Preventive Care, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.



Most intimate partner violence (IPV) prevalence studies do not examine the relationships between IPV types and the chronicity and severity of abuse.


Delineate prevalence, chronicity, and severity of IPV among adult women.


Retrospective cohort study conducted by telephone survey. Data were collected in 2003 to 2005 and analyzed contemporaneously.


English-speaking women (n=3568) aged 18 to 64 years enrolled in a U.S. health maintenance organization for 3 or more years. Response rate was 56.4%.


Physical, psychological, and sexual IPV were assessed using five questions from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and ten items from the Women's Experience with Battering (WEB) scale.


Most (3429) of the respondents had at least one intimate partnership as an adult. Of these, 14.7% reported IPV of any type in the past 5 years, and 45.1% of abused women experienced more than one type. Prevalence was 7.9% in the past year, while during a woman's adult lifetime, it was 44.0%. Depending on IPV type, 10.7% to 21.0% were abused by more than one partner; duration was <1 year to 5 median years; while in 5% to 13% of the instances, IPV persisted for >20 years. IPV rates were higher for younger women, women with lower income and less education, single mothers, and those who had been abused as a child.


The high prevalence of IPV across women's lifetimes in the previous 5 years and the previous year are documented. The present investigation provides new information of IPV chronicity, severity, and the overlap of IPV types over a woman's adult life span.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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