Intimate Partner Violence – Trends in Policy Across Sectors
March 4, 2020 | By Transform Health
One of the most pervasive issues continuing to impact the social determinants of health for women, children and families around the world is intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV, also widely termed “domestic violence”, is experienced by people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Over the past few months, staff at Transform Health have researched IPV policies across various sectors – including government, community, and health care – in order to get a better understanding of how these policy recommendations interact.
In our webinar, Intimate Partner Violence – Trends in Policy Across Sectors, we dive deep into the matter, laying out the historic and current landscapes of IPV prevention across the United States, as well as the considerations needed to create change.
While both men and women can be victims of IPV, women are disproportionately affected by this form of violence. In 2019, the United Nations issued a report which found that women killed by intimate partners or family members account for almost 60% of all female homicide victims reported worldwide. Subsequently, in 2002, The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized IPV as a global public health concern, affecting roughly 35% of women around the . This is not just an issue on a global scale. In the United States, 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 9 men report experiencing severe violence from a partner in their lifetime.
IPV is a complex problem that can impact many of the recognized social determinants of health and is often driven by socioeconomic inequities. For instance, communities with lower educational, social, and economic opportunities often have a higher incidence of violence and acceptance of violent norms. Women in these communities are not only at greater risk of experiencing IPV, but also suffer extensively after the violence occurs.
Survivors of IPV face both immediate and lifelong consequences to their health and emotional wellbeing. While some of these effects, like physical injury and behavioral changes, are easily identifiable, others are far less apparent. Health and safety are greatly influenced by the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, class, and other social characteristics and conditions. In many instances, IPV can influence family structures, employment, and chronic disease status among other outcomes. Adding complexity to the issue, the effects of IPV can be multi-generational within families. Children who witness violence in their homes are more likely to experience violence themselves and become incorporated in a cycle that inhibits their employment, education achievement, and economic opportunities.
While there are many different approaches to preventing IPV, it is clear across all sectors that solving this problem requires collaborative action and multidisciplinary engagement with leaders in public policy, health care, community advocacy, and social services. This includes addressing the many barriers to care that currently prevent IPV survivors from being identified by their providers and supported within their community.