Objective: Few emergency department (ED) studies have described the relationship between family violence and subsequent intimate partner violence (IPV) or accounted for partner alcohol use in IPV victimization. This study sought to identify family history and substance-use factors associated with IPV among women presenting to an urban emergency department.
Methods: Case-control study in which cases (women identified as having IPV concerns and an IPV history) and controls (women without IPV) were frequency-matched by age group and race/ethnicity. Logistic regression was performed to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for any IPV, physical IPV, and sexual IPV.
Results: The sample included 182 cases and 147 controls. Living with a partner (not married) and witnessing parental violence were independent risk factors for any IPV (AOR 2.55 and AOR 2.21, respectively). Partner's alcohol use (AOR 1.22 for every five drinks consumed per week) and heavier drinking (AOR 5.07) were also significant risk factors, but not subject's substance-use. The pattern of risk factors varied only slightly for physical IPV and sexual IPV.
Conclusion: This study suggests a substantial relationship between partner alcohol use and IPV among women beyond the woman's substance-use and confirms previous reports regarding the cycle of violence in women's lives.