Intimate Partner Violence and its Health Impact on Ethnic Minority Women [corrected]

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015 Jan;24(1):62-79. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2014.4879. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


In the United States, intimate partner violence (IPV) against women disproportionately affects ethnic minorities. Further, disparities related to socioeconomic and foreign-born status impact the adverse physical and mental health outcomes as a result of IPV, further exacerbating these health consequences. This article reviews 36 U.S. studies on the physical (e.g., multiple injuries, disordered eating patterns), mental (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder), and sexual and reproductive health conditions (e.g., HIV/STIs, unintended pregnancy) resulting from IPV victimization among ethnic minority (i.e., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latina, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American) women, some of whom are immigrants. Most studies either did not have a sufficient sample size of ethnic minority women or did not use adequate statistical techniques to examine differences among different racial/ethnic groups. Few studies focused on Native American/Alaska Native and immigrant ethnic minority women and many of the intra-ethnic group studies have confounded race/ethnicity with income and other social determinants of health. Nonetheless, of the available data, there is evidence of health inequities associated with both minority ethnicity and IPV. To appropriately respond to the health needs of these groups of women, it is necessary to consider social, cultural, structural, and political barriers (e.g., medical mistrust, historical racism and trauma, perceived discrimination, immigration status) to patient-provider communication and help-seeking behaviors related to IPV, which can influence health outcomes. This comprehensive approach will mitigate the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities related to IPV and associated health outcomes and behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / ethnology*
  • United States
  • Vulnerable Populations / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health / ethnology*