Publications of Interest

Intimate Partner Violence

Each quarter ISSTD News endeavors to focus POI on recently published articles which are timely and relevant to community discourse. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month in many countries, this POI will focus on recent publications exploring issues related to intimate partner violence (a more modern phrase than Domestic Violence, and one that captures a more full spectrum of relationships). We have also tried to ensure that at least some of the articles are open access, to assist our members who may not have access to a academic database. I hope this is useful for you and if you have any ideas for themes for POI make sure you let me know at

Adams, A.E., Littwin, A.K. & Javorka, M. (2020). The Frequency, Nature, and Effects of Coerced Debt Among a National Sample of Women Seeking Help for Intimate Partner Violence, Violence Against Women, 26(11) 1324–1342. DOI: 10.1177/1077801219841445

This study examines the frequency, nature, and effects of coerced debt, defined as non-consensual, credit-related transactions that occur in intimate relationships where one partner uses coercive control to dominate the other. The sample includes 1,823 women who called the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Results suggest that coerced debt, from both coercive and fraudulent transactions, is a common problem and is significantly related to control over financial information, credit damage, and financial dependence on the abuser. This study supports the need for policy reform and victim services aimed at addressing coerced debt, thereby mitigating a potentially significant economic barrier to safety.

Brassard, A., Tourigny, M., Dugal, C., Lussier, Y., Sabourin, S. &, Godbout, N. (2020). Child Maltreatment and Polyvictimization as Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence in Women From the General Population of Quebec. Violence Against Women 26(11) 1305– 1323. DOI: 10.1177/1077801219857824

This study aimed to (a) evaluate the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and revictimization among a representative sample of 1,001 women living in Quebec, Canada; (b) examine whether IPV was predicted by experiences of child maltreatment; and (c) explore the role of polyvictimization on IPV beyond the effect of any type of exposure. Results indicate the prevalence rates of lifetime IPV (10.5%), IPV over the last year (2.5%), and revictimization (7.2%). All forms of child maltreatment predicted an increased risk of IPV victimization, yet polyvictimization was related to IPV beyond the effects of specific forms of child maltreatment.

Holmes, S.C., Johnson, N.L., Zlotnick, C., Sullivan, T.P. & Johnson, D.M. (2020). The Association Between Demographic, Mental Health, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Variables and Undergraduate Women’s Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration. Journal of Interpersonal Violence,1–25. DOI: 10.1177/0886260520907354

Addressing women’s intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration is essential not only to their partners’ safety but also to their own as, for women who are victims of IPV, their IPV perpetration may be a risk factor for their own revictimization. Although many studies have examined risk factors for women’s IPV perpetration, results diverge with regard to whether demographic and mental health variables are reliable predictors. Results of several studies have demonstrated that when IPV victimization is examined concurrently with perpetration, demographic and mental health variables are no longer significant correlates. However, this research has been limited in that the type of IPV examined has been restricted to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. In addition, some demographic variables (e.g., sexual orientation) have yet to be adequately examined. The current study extends this literature by concurrently assessing demographic, mental health, and IPV victimization variables as correlates of IPV perpetration among undergraduate women. Furthermore, the current study examined a wide range of IPV types (i.e., threats of physical abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological maltreatment, stalking, cyberstalking). Among a final sample of 398 undergraduate women at a Midwestern public university, results demonstrated that while all variables (i.e., demographic, mental health, IPV victimization) were correlated with at least one type of IPV perpetration, only IPV victimization remained a unique significant correlate of perpetration for each of the six IPV perpetration types when variables were analyzed concurrently in hierarchical regression models. Demographic and mental health variables were nonsignificant correlates for most IPV perpetration types. These results corroborate previous studies and provide additional evidence that targeting women’s own victimization, safety planning, and de-escalation may be useful at decreasing violence against women’s partners as well as women’s own risk for revictimization.

Tura H, Licoze A (2019) Women’s experience of intimate partner violence and uptake of Antenatal Care in Sofala, Mozambique. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217407. journal.pone.0217407

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes. Although maternal health services, especially antenatal care (ANC), can act as a link to IPV resources, women experiencing IPV likely have reduced uptake of ANC due to social and emotional barriers. Poor ANC uptake can also further exacerbate adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, there is limited research examining the association between IPV and ANC within the context of Mozambique. Using data from a study conducted to assess the impact of membership in savings groups on maternal health service utilization in Mozambique (N = 205), we investigated the association between IPV and uptake of ANC. Pearson chi-square and logistic regression were employed to examine the association between IPV and ANC service utilization. The mean age of the participants was 33.4 years (SD = 11.88). Overall, 47.3%, 83.4%, and 51.7% of the participants reported experiencing IPV, receiving at least one ANC, and four or more ANC, respectively. Women who reported experience of IPV had lower odds of receiving both at least one (AOR 0.31 [95% CI:0.12– 0.82]) and four or more ANC (AOR 0.50 [95% CI: 0.27–0.92]). Women who reported experience of IPV also had lower odds of receiving ANC from skilled personnel (AOR 0.32 [95% CI: 0.10–0.90]). Experience of IPV showed significant association with reduced ANC service utilization among women in the study area. Further study is needed to assess whether the negative association between IPV and ANC service utilization is also a causal relationship, the evidence which will then help guide a comprehensive intervention effort to improve maternal health services use.

This is an open Access Article available here: PLOS ONE

Gracia E, Martı´n-Ferna´ndez M, Lila M, Merlo J, Ivert A-K (2019) Prevalence of intimate partner violence against women in Sweden and Spain: A psychometric study of the ‘Nordic paradox’. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217015.

The high prevalence of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) in countries with high levels of gender equality has been defined as the “Nordic paradox”. In this study we compared physical and sexual IPVAW prevalence data in two countries exemplifying the Nordic paradox: Sweden (N = 1483) and Spain (N = 1447). Data was drawn from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Survey on violence against women. To ascertain whether differences between these two countries reflect true differences in IPVAW prevalence, and to rule out the possibility of measurement bias, we conducted a set of analyses to ensure measurement equivalence, a precondition for appropriate and valid cross-cultural comparisons. Results showed that in both countries items were measuring two separate constructs, physical and sexual IPVAW, and that these factors had high internal consistency and adequate validity. Measurement equivalence analyses (i.e., differential item functioning, and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis) supported the comparability of data across countries. Latent means comparisons between the Spanish and the Swedish samples showed that scores on both the physical and sexual IPVAW factors were significantly higher in Sweden than in Spain. The effect sizes of these differences were large: 89.1% of the Swedish sample had higher values in the physical IPVAW factor than the Spanish average, and this percentage was 99.4% for the sexual IPVAW factor as compared to the Spanish average. In terms of probability of superiority, there was an 80.7% and 96.1% probability that a Swedish woman would score higher than a Spanish woman in the physical and the sexual IPVAW factors, respectively. Our results showed that the higher prevalence of physical and sexual IPVAW in Sweden than in Spain reflects actual differences and are not the result of measurement bias, supporting the idea of the Nordic paradox.

This article is Open Access and available here: PLOS ONE

Kjerulff Madsen F, Holm-Larsen CE, Wu C, Rogathi J, Manongi R, Mushi D, et al. (2019) Intimate partner violence and subsequent premature termination of exclusive breastfeeding: A cohort study. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0217479.


The objective of this study was to examine whether exposure to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is associated with premature termination of Exclusive Breastfeeding (EB). Per WHO recommendations, this was defined as ceasing breastfeeding or supplementing with other foods or liquids before the child was 6 months old.

It is a prospective cohort study set in Moshi, Tanzania consisting of 1128 pregnant women with live singleton births. Women were enrolled during pregnancy and followed up with interviews during pregnancy, after birth and 2–3 years postpartum, using structured questionnaires. Emotional, physical and sexual IPV exerted by the current partner was assessed at 34 weeks gestational age with WHO questionnaires. Months of EB was assessed 2–3 years postpartum. Premature termination of EB was defined as less than 6 months of EB. Analyses were made using a logistic regression model adjusted for maternal age, education, HIV-status, alcohol use during pregnancy and parity. Confounding variables were determined using a theoretical framework approach, i.e. a Directed Acyclic Graph model to minimize bias.

Women who were exposed to IPV had more than 50% higher odds of terminating EB before the child was 6 months old compared to women who were not exposed (aOR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.27–2.06). Women exposed to all three types of IPV had twice the odds of early termination of EB (aOR = 1.95, 1.12; 3.37). Furthermore, the odds were tripled if exposure happened specifically during the index pregnancy (aOR = 2.93 95%CI: 1.3; 6.6). Stratified analyses showed the most severely affected groups were the mothers older than 30 and those who gave birth to girls.

The results indicated that exposure to IPV is associated with increased risk of premature termination of EB. The odds increase with multiple types of the IPV, especially when exposed during the index pregnancy.

This is an open access article and available here: PLOS ONE