Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to physical and/or sexual assault of a spouse or intimate partners, a healthcare issue that has drawn so much controversy in the past years (Jewkes 1). Its resultant impact is associated with the mental and physical health of the victim, ranging from physical body harm (injury), chronic pain, gastrointestinal and gynecological injury traces that can encompass sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), depression, as well as stress disorders associated with post-traumatic occurrences (Sutherland 4l).
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, 3 to 13% of pregnancies that occur between intimate partners occurred due to intimate partner violence, detrimentally affecting mostly mothers and their infants or children (Sutherland et al 44). In a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, about 1 out of 320 households faced intimate partner violence in the United States. This report also justified World Health Organizations report that majority of the affected were women, with this department putting the figure of males victimizing females in an intimate relationship to 18%, while females victimizing males were found to only 3% and that about 11% of murdered victims were as a result of the assault from intimate partners (USDJS).
This type of violence is of special interest because it has been noticed that most of the affected do not report the cases due to fear of more victimization and or just due to ignorance especially in the poverty-stricken communities, hence the difficulty in assessing the situation in a central point (Sutherland et al 47). However, the trend of such victimizations have drastically reduced according to this report, with statistics showing that the rate of non-fatal intimate violence reduced to a significant half in less than a decade (1993 and 2002) (Sutherland et al 48)
There are quite a several factors affecting have been found to affect intimate partner relationships, mostly associated with both social and demographic issues. One of the main factors that increase the risks of occurrences is poverty that is backed by the identification of the power of women and male identity, showing a different type of facial expression (Jewkes 33). In this line, male partners normally use violence as a way of defending their position in the household. In the study, violence that occurred in the household between spouses was mostly a result of conflict on matters of family finance, gender roles transgressions (especially on women’s), and jealousy between the spouses (Jewkes 34).
The other factor that perpetuated the violence was excess consumption of alcohol, mostly if this occurred on one of the spouses. The poverty factor is prominent because studies have found out that women who have more empowerment in terms of education, economics, and society are more protected since they have the confidence and knowledge of the law (Jewkes 35).
The victims of intimate partner violence tend to have unique social and physical signs different from other forms of violence (Wood et al 123). It was noticed intimate violence victims had between 88-94% of the injury on their head and neck, while 56% of those seeking treatment had a facial fracture that generally entailed fractures at the jaws, orbital blow-out fractures, and intracranial injury (Wood et al 124). The victims also had difficulty in identifying where it pained and the feelings, anxiety, depression and are normally engulfed in external oriental thinking (Wood et al 133). On the other hand, the perpetrators are normally remorseful once sober especially if the violence was as a result of alcohol consumption. They also feel insecure with a high inferiority complex hence the attempt to exertion on their partners. (Jewkes 39)
Jewkes, Rachel, “Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention” The Lancet, Volume 359, Issue 9315, 20 2002, Pages 1423-1429. Web.
“Patterns of Facial Injury.” ScienceDaily. 2009. Web.
Sutherland, C., Bybee, D., & Sullivan, C. “The Long-Term Effects of Battering on Women’s Health”, Journal on Women Health, 4 (1):41-70 9520606. Web.
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Web.
Wood, K Maforah F., Jewkes, R. “He forced me love him”: Putting violence on Adolescent sexual health agaendas. Women’s Health, Centre for Epidemiological Research in Southern Africa, Medical Research Council, Pretoria.