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Research into Intimate Partner Violence

te at Group Health Center for Health Studies, is the lead author of the second research article. She and her coauthors reported that rates of depression, physical symptoms, and social isolation were significantly higher in women who experienced IPV compared to women who never experienced IPV. Exposure to physical and/or sexual IPV in the past five years had the strongest adverse health effects for women. The longer women were exposed to IPV, the worse their health outcomes: This had not been shown before.

"In light of these findings and those from previous studies, it is critical to focus on strategies for the primary and secondary prevention of IPV that can be used not only in healthcare settings but also in other individual, community, and social arenas," says Bonomi.

These findings provide "the additional challenge for us in the preventive medicine and public health communities to advocacy and action to prevent IPV," Ann L. Coker, PhD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, in Houston, writes in the accompanying editorial. "Identifying IPV and intervening to reduce the mental, physical, and social consequences of IPV must become a health priority so that providers can competently care for women, children, families, and communities."

James S. Marks, MD, MPH, senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in Princeton, NJ, considers it unlikely that the 44% figure is an overestimate. "A primary challenge in studying IPV has been the understanding that prevalence rates likely underestimate this public health problem because of the stigma and shame associated with it," he writes in his commentary introducing the two research articles.

Source: Eurekalert
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