Intimate partner violence surveillance : uniform definitions and recommended data elements. Version 2.0
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Intimate partner violence surveillance : uniform definitions and recommended data elements. Version 2.0

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      Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem. The most recent data, from the 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), indicate that over 10 million women and men in the United States experience physical violence each year by a current or former intimate partner. Further, over 1 in 5 women (22.3%) and nearly 1 in 7 men (14.0%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime, translating to nearly 29 million U.S. women and nearly 16 million U.S. men. Data from NISVS also show that nearly 1 in 11 women (8.8%) have been raped by a current or former intimate partner at some point in their lives.1 Finally, approximately 9.2% of women and 2.5% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

      In addition to the immediate impact, intimate partner violence has lifelong consequences. A number of studies have shown that beyond injury and death, victims of IPV are more likely to report a range of negative mental and physical health outcomes that are both acute and chronic in nature. During the past decade, a number of studies have also improved our understanding of the biologic response to acute and chronic stress that links IPV with negative health outcomes. In addition, there are a number of behavioral factors that are likely to play a role in the link between IPV and adverse health outcomes as victims of IPV are more likely to smoke, engage in heavy/binge drinking, report HIV risk factors, and endorse other unhealthy behaviors.

      Prior to NISVS, there was no established mechanism for ongoing public health surveillance that provided national- and state-level IPV data. Those interested in knowing the incidence and prevalence of IPV had to rely on one-time data collection efforts or data from multiple data systems utilizing differing definitions and methods of data collection. Obtaining accurate and reliable estimates of the number of individuals affected by violence is complicated by a number of factors. Many of these data sources were created and maintained for purposes other than monitoring the scope of the problem. For example, law enforcement agencies collect information about violence against women for the purpose of apprehending and bringing charges against the perpetrator(s) of the violence; these agencies are likely to record fewer details about the victim. Hospitals collect information primarily for providing optimal patient care and for billing purposes, and thus may record few or no details about the perpetrator of the violence, even if they recognize or record the violence at all.4 The process of bringing together data from multiple systems is one way to arrive at better estimates of the number of women and men who are victims of violence. However, use of multiple data systems can present logistical challenges and threats to the reliability of the data because, for some incidents, information from the victim will appear in multiple data systems (e.g., both police and hospital data), whereas for other incidents victim information will only appear in one data system (e.g., the victim seeks emergency department treatment but does not file a police report).

      Suggested citation: Breiding MJ, Basile KC, Smith SG, Black MC, Mahendra RR. Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, Version 2.0. Atlanta (GA): National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2015.


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