Professor Lysis Camacho ARNP, MSN
Florida National University
Jul 10, 2020
Partner violence remains a global threat in recent years. With the escalating cases of mental health issues, partner violence has continued to be on the rise. Different factors have been associated with partner violence including both social, cultural, and demographic factors. Within the scope of socio-demographic factors, age, gender, and level of education predominate. Female gender and low level of education predispose individuals to a higher risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) as either victims or perpetrators of violent acts. Societal values and cultural norms are associated with vulnerabilities of individuals to IPV. Health status, especially mental health and substance abuse makes individuals susceptible to IPV. Common consequences of IPV include physical injuries, sexual abuse, and economic losses. Injuries resulting in immobility and unwanted pregnancies are some of the negative effects of IPV. IPV also results in psychosocial effects such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Advocating for women’s rights, IPV risk assessments especially in mentally ill patients and establishing awareness on the impacts of substance abuse remain the major strategies in reducing the rate of IPV.
Running head: PARTNER VIOLENCE 1
Partner violence refers to physical, sexual, or psychological harm resulting within an intimate relationship. This may include physical aggression as well as sexual coercion.
According to recent statistics from the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, (2020), 10 million people, suffer from cases of partner violence. More than 25% of women and more than 10% of men have experienced physical violence, sexual violence as well as fearfulness, and posttraumatic stress disorder resulting from impacts of stalking. 1 in 10 women experiences rape by their male partners.in a single day, with 20,000 phone calls made indicating complaints of potential partner violence cases. Among all violent crimes, partner violence accounts for about 25% of the cases. Of all cases of domestic violence, 19% involve the use of a weapon. Despite the elevating cases of injuries resulting from domestic violence, only 34% of the cases receive medical care. Of all murder-suicide cases, 72%of them involve an intimate partner; more than 90% of the victims of such cases are females.
Partner violence results in economic and physical effects. Victims of partner violence lose a cumulative of 8 million working days (NCADV, 2020). Partner violence results in increased risks of HIV transmission as well as other sexually transmitted infections. Suicidal behavior and cases of depression have risen in recent years due to the cases of intimate partner violence. Mental and reproductive health issues have also been associated with IPV resulting to teen pregnancy, miscarriages, stillbirths, and intrauterine hemorrhage.
Tol et al., (2019) propose that addressing mental health issues can help reduce the rate of IPV, especially in low-income countries. Scientific research studies in partner violence in low and middle-income countries indicate that preventive measures have been effective in curbing the high rate of such cases. These measures have included conflict resolution skills as well as participatory learning activities. Community mobilization and training interventions for women have also been implemented in certain countries. Studies have shown that women advocacy and home visitation programs have been utilized to minimize further victimization from intimate partner violence. Addressing mental health issues can be an effective mechanism as hypothesized by Nam & Lincoln, (2016) through targeting the victims or the perpetrators.
The correlates of perpetration include excessive alcoholic use, mental disorders such as anxiety and depression (Roh et al., 2016), and dysregulation of anger (Rubenstein et al., 2017). Programs that have been proposed and implemented to address this violence have ignored the vital role played by mental health status. Treating partner violence victims for mental problems can help stabilize the psychological state of victims as well as providing emotional support for the survivors (Mcgarry et al., 2017). This can be achieved by addressing their mental health skills such as stress management and reducing social isolation.
According to Yu et al., (2019) men with psychiatric diagnoses except for those with autism have been associated with perpetration against women. Men with alcohol abuse and drug abuse are at a higher risk of engaging in partner violence compared to the general population. Drug abuse reduces one’s individual which can lead to using violence to solve conflicts in intimate relationships. Alcohol and drugs remain the top strategies of partner violence perpetrators coping with the difficult symptoms resulting from their mental illnesses. Therefore, prevention programs should target the risk of partner violence in men by prioritizing on the diagnosis of such men for substance abuse. According to Yu et al., (2019) also found that low income was associated with intimate partner violence orchestrated by men. This finding is consistent with the previous hypothesis suggesting that financial distress increases the risk of intimate partner violence (Izugbara et al., 2020).
Several sociodemographic factors increase the risk of IPV. Gender remains the most studied risk factor in partner violence cases (Gerino et al., 2018). Women are more prevalent in partner violence and have remained the highest number of victims of IPV victims. Age is also an important factor to consider when addressing IPV. Both older men and women have been victims of IPV (Beach et al., 2016). Studies indicate that the elder population is at a higher risk of being victims or perpetrators of partner violence (Band-Winterstein, 2015). Separation and divorce persist in the elderly population and therefore increases the risk of IPV (Cheung et al., 2015). Older people in minor population groups segregated by race remain at risk of IPV. Unemployment and low income associated with ethnic minorities also predispose individuals to partner violence. Low income and unemployment predominate in females and therefore make them vulnerable to both physical and sexual violence (Guedes et al., 2015). Later in life, the level of education becomes an important aspect of IPV. A high level of education is linked to an individual’s knowledge and awareness of the risks and consequences of IPV. Conversely, such awareness does not seem to act as a protective factor as reports indicate significant cases involve individuals with a high level of education. Low level of education poses great risks to individuals late in life.
Band-Winterstein, T. (2015). Aging in the Shadow of Violence: A phenomenological conceptual framework for understanding elderly women who experienced lifelong IPV. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 27(4-5), 303-327. doi:10.1080/08946566.2015.1091422
Beach, S. R., Carpenter, C. R., Rosen, T., Sharps, P., & Gelles, R. (2016). Screening and detection of elder abuse: Research opportunities and lessons learned from emergency geriatric care, intimate partner violence, and child abuse. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 28(4-5), 185-216. doi:10.1080/08946566.2016.1229241
Cheung, D. S., Tiwari, A., & Wang, A. X. (2015). Intimate partner violence in late life: A case study of older Chinese women. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 27(4-5), 428-437. doi:10.1080/08946566.2015.1092903
Gerino, E., Caldarera, A. M., Curti, L., Brustia, P., & Rollè, L. (2018). Intimate partner violence in the golden age: Systematic review of risk and protective factors. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01595
Guedes, D. T., Alvarado, B. E., Phillips, S. P., Curcio, C. L., Zunzunegui, M. V., & Guerra, R. O. (2015). Socioeconomic status, social relations, and domestic violence (DV) against elderly people in Canada, Albania, Colombia, and Brazil. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 60(3), 492-500. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2015.01.010
Izugbara, C. O., Obiyan, M. O., Degfie, T. T., & Bhatti, A. (2020). Correlates of intimate partner violence among urban women in sub-Saharan Africa. Plos One, 15(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0230508
Mcgarry, J., Ali, P., & Hinchliff, S. (2017). Older women, intimate partner violence, and mental health: A consideration of the particular issues for health and healthcare practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26(15-16), 2177-2191. doi:10.1111/jocn.13490
Nam, S. I., & Lincoln, K. D. (2016). Lifetime family violence and depression: The case of older women in South Korea. Journal of Family Violence, 32(3), 269-278. doi:10.1007/s10896-016-9844-9
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2020). NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved July 10, 2020, from https://ncadv.org/statistics
Roh, S., Burnette, C. E., Lee, K. H., Lee, Y., & Easton, S. D. (2016). risk and protective factors for depressive symptoms among indigenous older adults: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and social support. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 59(4), 316-331. doi:10.1080/01634372.2016.1214659
Rubenstein, B. L., Lu, L. Z., Macfarlane, M., & Stark, L. (2017). Predictors of interpersonal violence in the household in humanitarian settings: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(1), 31-44. doi:10.1177/1524838017738724
Tol, W. A., Murray, S. M., Lund, C., Bolton, P., Murray, L. K., Davies, T., . . . Bass, J. K. (2019). Can mental health treatments help prevent or reduce intimate partner violence in low- and middle-income countries? A systematic review. BMC Women’s Health, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12905-019-0728-z
Yu, R., Nevado-Holgado, A. J., Molero, Y., D’Onofrio, B. M., Larsson, H., Howard, L. M., & Fazel, S. (2019). Mental disorders and intimate partner violence perpetrated by men towards women: A Swedish population-based longitudinal study. PLOS Medicine, 16(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002995