Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a problem facing women around the world, one that has implications for women's health and well-being. The relationship between communities and the occurrence of IPV is an expanding area of research. Although a large number of community characteristics have been examined in relation to IPV, the research as a whole lacks a coherent theoretical focus or perspective. In this systematic review, we provide a comprehensive synthesis of the evidence regarding the community-level correlates of IPV against women. In our review of peer-reviewed research published between January 1, 1990 and January 31, 2011, we identify key community-level correlates, detect gaps, and offer recommendations for future research. Recognizing a difference in approach between U.S. and non-U.S. based research and an over-reliance on a primarily urban, U.S.-based perspective on communities and IPV, we advocate for a global perspective that better reflects the social and economic fabric of communities around the world. Specifically, future research should focus on the most promising, but currently under-studied, community-level correlates of IPV against women, namely gender inequality, gender norms, and adapted measures of collective efficacy/social cohesion.
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