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Prevalence and Impact of Intimate Partner Violence

Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 36.4% of women and 33.6% of men in the United States experience physical abuse, sexual abuse, or stalking by an intimate partner over the course of their lives; 36.4% of women and 34.2% of men report psychological aggression by an intimate partner. In total, more than 12.4 million people are victims of sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner each year.

Impact of IPV on Substance Use and Mental Health

Research conducted over the past 40 years has consistently shown that abuse by an intimate partner increases a person’s risk for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, insomnia, substance use, and suicidality, as well as a range of chronic health conditions, including chronic pain. For example, 80% of women who have been raped, stalked, or physically abused by an intimate partner report short- or long-term mental health challenges (Black et al, 2011). Some of these physical and mental health challenges are the direct result of physical and sexual violence while others are related to the traumatic psychological and physiological effects of ongoing abuse.

How Common is IPV Among People Seen in Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Settings?

While data on the prevalence of IPV among people seen in mental health and substance use treatment settings is limited, findings from key studies indicate that on average 30% of women accessing in-patient psychiatric services and 33% of women accessing out-patient services have experienced IPV (Oram et al., 2013). Research also indicates that 40%-90% of women accessing substance use disorder treatment services have experienced IPV in their lifetime and 31-67% have experienced IPV within the past year (Rivera et al., 2015). Experiencing IPV is also associated with higher rates of mental health service use for LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming young adults (Scheer & Baams, 2021).