Intimate partner violence: Factor in chronic health problems
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is increasingly recognised as a contributing factor for long-term health problems; however, few studies have assessed these health outcomes using consistent and comprehensive IPV measures or representative population-based samples. Health implications of IPV against men is also relatively underexplored. Given the gendered differences in IPV exposure patterns, exploration of gender patterns in men’ and women’s IPV exposure and health outcomes is needed.
We used data from the 2019 New Zealand Family Violence Study, a cross-sectional population-based study of ~2,800 ever-partnered women and men which was conducted across 3 regions of New Zealand.
We found that women’s exposure to any lifetime IPV, as well as specific IPV types (physical, sexual, psychological, controlling behaviors, and economic abuse), was associated with increased likelihood of reporting adverse health outcomes (poor general health, recent pain or discomfort, recent health care consultation, any diagnosed physical and mental health condition). Furthermore, a cumulative pattern was observed that is women who experienced multiple IPV types were more likely to report poorer health outcomes.
Regarding men exposure to IPV, we found that while men’s exposure to IPV was associated with increased likelihood of reporting 4 of the 7 assessed poor health outcomes, specific IPV types were inconsistently associated with poor health outcomes. Experience of a higher number of IPV types among men did not show a clear stepwise association with number of health outcomes. These findings indicate that IPV against men, unlike women, does not consistently contribute to their poor health outcomes at the population level.
In sum, our findings warrant gender-appropriate clinical approaches when IPV is identified. Specifically, health care systems need to be mobilized to address IPV as a priority health issue among women. However, these findings do not warrant routine inquiry for IPV against men in clinical settings, although appropriate care is needed if IPV against men is identified.
For further information please see: Association Between Men’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Self-reported Health Outcomes in New Zealand | Global Health | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network and Association Between Women’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Self-reported Health Outcomes in New Zealand | Intimate Partner Violence | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
Or contact Dr Ladan Hashemi at email@example.com