Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the epidemiology and health-related consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV). We discuss how IPV is defined and measured in epidemiological studies and provide an overview of the national prevalence and incidence of IPV. We describe IPV in selected populations, including pregnant women and adolescents, and across certain demographics, such as sex and race/ethnicity. We also discuss characteristics of IPV victims and perpetrators that are known to increase the risk of IPV. Lastly, we provide an overview of the clinical considerations and prevention of IPV. Because many terms and surveys are abbreviated, we have included a list of IPV-related abbreviations to reference (Table 22.1). Terms and Definitions Epidemiological studies have not used a standard definition of IPV, reflecting the complexity of this concept, which encompasses a multitude of social and behavioral constructs. Specifying who is considered an intimate partner and what types of behaviors constitute violence may vary depending on how IPV is conceptualized and measured. Indeed, numerous studies have measured IPV in different populations using a variety of definitions, questions, and time frames (e.g., past 12 months, lifetime). The diverse approaches to assessing IPV have likely contributed to the wide range of IPV prevalence estimates reported across nationwide population-based studies (Breiding, Black, and Ryan 2008; Schafer, Caetano, and Clark 1998; Straus and Gelles 1990; Tjaden and Thoennes 2000b).
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