Doctor's Search

Domestic Violence

May 26, 2020

Individual Factors for Perpetrating Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Recent research reviews of male perpetrators link several risk factors to IPV:

  • Young age
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low income
  • Low academic achievement
  • Involvement in aggressive or delinquent behavior as a youth
  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Witnessing or experiencing violence as a child
  • Lack of social networks and social isolation
  • Unemployment

Relationship Factors for Perpetrating IPV

Recent research reviews link several relational risk factors to IPV perpetration:

  • Marital conflict
  • Marital instability
  • Male dominance in the family
  • Poor family functioning
  • Emotional dependence and insecurity
  • Belief in strict gender roles
  • Desire for power and control in relationships
  • Exhibiting anger and hostility toward a partner

Community Factors for Perpetrating IPV:

Recent research reviews link several community risk factors to perpetrating IPV:

  • Poverty
  • Low social capital
  • Factors associated with poverty such as overcrowding, hopelessness, stress, frustration
  • Weak sanctions against domestic violence

Health Issues

More than 1 million women seek medical assistance for injuries caused by battering each year. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1991)

Only 8% of women discussed being abused with their physicians, while another 38% discussed the incidents with someone other than their physician, leaving more than 50% of the women who have been physically abused discussing it with no one. (“The Health of American Women” conducted by the Commonwealth Fund Fieldwork: February – March, 1993)

Abused women are more likely to seek help from their physicians than from lawyers or police officers. (Mehta and Dandrea, 1988)

Battering is the major cause of injury to women, resulting in more injuries to women than auto accidents, muggings and rapes combined. (“Violence Among Intimates, An Epidemiological Review,” E.Stark and A.Flitcraft, Handbook of Family Violence, Ed. V.D. Van Hasselt,, 1988)

Children in violent homes

79% of violent children have witnessed violence between their parents. (Family Prevention Fund, 1991 “The Invisible Victim: Children of the War At Home.” Source quoted as Lewis, et al. 1983)

Violent juvenile delinquents are four times more likely than are nonviolent juveniles to come from homes in which their fathers beat their mothers. (Miller, J. (1989). “Violence By and Against America’s Children.” Bureau of Juvenile Justice Digest. XVII (12), p.6.)