Etiology of Intimate Partner Violence

| August 24, 2012

Poverty, relationship conflict, alcohol consumption and social norms have been among the risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV). Poverty may contribute to violence by creating conflicts; however, conflicts leading to violence may occur due to transgression of traditional gender roles or  cultural stereotypes about women. Alcohol use can impair inhibitions and correct interpretations of social cues. Social norms are responsible for transgenerational inheritance of IPV. If a male child witnesses interparental violence it is more likely for him to perpetrate domestic violence in future. Child abuse and neglect also increases the likelihood of violence perpetration in adulthood. Similarly, girls who witness interparental violence or experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become victims in adulthood. We can use these etiological factors to prevent IPV.  For example, non-constructive conflict resolution is one of the causative factors. To address this problem, we can teach healthy approaches to solving problems in families. Because experiencing or witnessing abuse in childhood is a factor, we can encourage healthy parenting styles to address this issue. Lack of education is a risk factor, while literacy is a protective factor. We can promote literacy in women to reduce their chance of being abused.

Source: Causes, protective and risk factors(UN)

Jewkes R. Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention. Lancet. 2002;359:1423–1429.