Investigating the true rate of physical intimate partner violence: A review of nationally representative surveys

Esteban Esquivel Santovena, Louise Dixon

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35 Citations (Scopus)
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This review systematically investigates rates of physical intimate partner violence for both sexes in international samples. Surveys that accessed nationally representative samples, used gender inclusive methodology and neutral contexts are reviewed to determine 12-month and lifetime victimization and perpetration rates. Discrepancies between international rates, and the impact that gender equality may have upon these differences is also investigated. Electronic databases were systematically searched to identify surveys that met inclusion criteria. Eleven surveys were reviewed. Of these, Family Violence surveys had the highest methodological quality and showed equal rates for both sexes. Surveys of lesser quality typically showed higher female victimization and male perpetration rates. Countries at the extremes of gender empowerment measure scores differed in their patterns of rates. Gender equality in the US was associated with symmetry for the sexes, and inequality in Uganda associated with higher female victimization. However, as countries tended to use different methods to investigate the problem it was not possible to compare the effects of gender equality on differences in international rates of IPV. It is concluded that survey methodology needs to be consistent across nations, and specifically target family violence if true rates are to be determined and compared across the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-219
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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