Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

What IPV Against Females Is

According to the World Health Organization [WHO] (2017), IPV is “behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm.” The most common types of IPV include physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, and controlling behaviors. It is necessary to stress that any female irrespective of her socioeconomic status, education, personality traits, age, ethnicity, or other factors can become an IPV victim.

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Prevalence and Consequences

It has been estimated that approximately 30% of females who have ever been in intimate relationships have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. The consequences of IPV are numerous and can be linked to health, economic costs, and impact on children. Almost 40% of murdered females are killed by their intimate partners (WHO, 2017). Over 40% of female victims of IPV report injuries. Sexual abuse often leads to unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and miscarriage. As far as mental health is concerned, IPV female victims tend to develop depression, anxiety, and more serious mental illnesses. Children also suffer from IPV as they often develop emotional and behavioral disturbances.

Risk Factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (2018), the primary individual risk factors include:

  • Low income and social status
  • Low self-esteem
  • Age
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression
  • Personality traits
  • Lack of social support (no friends)
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Unintended pregnancy

Apart from these factors, relationship-related and community-based forces can contribute to the prevalence of IPV. For example, economic issues families experience often result in violence. As far as community-based forces are concerned, these include:

  • Overcrowding
  • Poverty
  • Limited social institutions
  • Neighbors’ unwillingness to interfere
  • Substance outlet density

Protective Factors

According to the CDC (2017), the most potent protective factors include:

  • Social support
  • High neighbors’ responsiveness
  • Availability of community-based resources


It has been acknowledged that screening is one of the measures assisting females (Alvarez, Fedock, Grace, & Campbell, 2016). At the same time, research is needed in this area as the long-term effects of screening are still under-researched. It is also important to ensure diverse techniques that would be appropriate for diverse groups related to such domains as age, culture, and language.

Response and Prevention

Legal domain

Although high-income countries including the USA have various laws and policies protecting females, these measures still seem insufficient. It is essential to enhance laws making IPV associated with more serious consequences for offenders. The laws should also ensure victims’ safety and the provision of the necessary healthcare services.

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Health Care

As mentioned above, screening has proved to be an effective instrument that can help people address their issues. Hence, all healthcare facilities should have the necessary resources to deliver this kind of service to all females who report being in intimate relationships. Furthermore, these females should be informed about the resources assisting IPV victims available in their community. Moreover, such information has to be available in all healthcare facilities (posters, leaflets). The associated data should be placed online as well. Community-based options should also be available (various types of therapeutic groups, support groups, and the like).

Research and Media

Although various projects have been in place, it is necessary to continue implementing programs and campaigns aimed at informing females as well as helping them to develop protective behaviors and prevent any type of violence. Further research is also necessary as it is essential to identify more protective factors, interventions that can help females to be safe, and measures that can decrease the IPV rate in American society.


Alvarez, C., Fedock, G., Grace, K., & Campbell, J. (2016). Provider screening and counseling for intimate partner violence: A systematic review of practices and influencing factors. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 18(5), 479-495. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Web.

World Health Organization. (2017). Violence against women. Web.

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