Objectives: This study estimated the frequency and correlates of intimate partner violence by type (physical, sexual, battering, or emotional abuse) among women seeking primary health care.
Methods: Women aged 18 to 65 years who attended family practice clinics in 1997 and 1998 took part. Participation included a brief in-clinic survey assessing intimate partner violence. Multiple polytomous logistic regression was used to assess correlates of partner violence by type.
Results: Of 1401 eligible women surveyed, 772 (55.1%) had experienced some type of intimate partner violence in a current, most recent, or past intimate relationship with a male partner; 20.2% were currently experiencing intimate partner violence. Among those who had experienced partner violence in any relationship, 77.3% experienced physical or sexual violence, and 22.7% experienced nonphysical abuse. Alcohol and/or drug abuse by the male partner was the strongest correlate of violence.
Conclusions: Partner substance abuse and intimate partner violence in the woman's family of origin were strong risk factors for experiencing violence. Efforts to universally screen for partner violence and to effectively intervene to reduce the impact of such violence on women's lives must be a public health priority.