[Co-occurrence of physical violence against partners and their children in health services]

Rev Saude Publica. 2006 Aug;40(4):595-603. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102006000500007.
[Article in Portuguese]


Objective: To profile the co-occurrence of physical violence against partners and their children in a population attending a health care service, according to different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Methods: A cross-sectional study on family violence and pre-term delivery was carried out in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2000. Households of women living with a partner and at least one child (or stepchild) aged less than 18 years were eligible to the study (n=205). Socioeconomic, demographic, and life style variables for the family couple were considered as potential predictors of violence. The outcome variable was assessed at four levels: no physical violence in the household; physical violence against partners, physical violence against at least one child or co-occurrence of both. A multinomial logit model was used for projecting the respective prevalences according to a range of selected descriptors.

Results: The risk factors associated to greater risk of the outcome were: maternal age >25; partner with less than eight years of schooling; presence of >2 children under the age of five in the household; and alcohol/illicit drug abuse by the partner. In households with all those characteristics, the joint projected prevalence of violence against partners and their children was 90.2%, and as much as 60.6% accounted for the co-occurrence of both. In the absence of those factors, estimates were significantly lower (18.9% and 0.2%, respectively).

Conclusions: Health providers should not only anticipate a situational gradient, but also be aware there is an increasingly higher risk of violence comprising the whole family group.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*