[Intimate partner violence: social and health determinants and responses]

Gac Sanit. 2004;18 Suppl 2:4-12. doi: 10.1157/13061990.
[Article in Spanish]


The present study aims to review the problem of intimate partner violence, as well as its causes and consequences. It will also specifically analyze the role of health professionals. In opposition to the classical epidemiological view of risk factors, Heise proposes an ecological framework to study violence against women. This framework analyzes the interplay among the personal, situational and sociocultural factors that combine to cause abuse. Regarding the frequency of intimate partner violence in Spain, in January 2003 there were 2.519 formal complaints and 69 women died between January and November 2003. No geographical patterns in mortality or the incidence of formal complaints of intimate partner violence or among the provinces with the highest incidence of formal complains and those with highest mortality were observed. The only national survey published in Spain was performed by the Women's Institute in 1999, which reported a prevalence of domestic violence of 9.2%. A frequency of 22.8% was found in a primary health care center in Granada. Health services can play a key role in helping victims of domestic violence, since most women contact the health services at some time in their lives. Professionals in administrative or managerial positions can contribute to raising awareness of this health problem, which is one of the main causes of poor health and disability. Evidently, beyond consciousness-raising and early detection campaigns, public health strategies should be designed to prevent this serious health problem the causes of which can be changed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Battered Women* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse* / prevention & control
  • Spouse Abuse* / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health
  • Women's Health Services