Rates of domestic violence against adult women by men partners

J Am Board Fam Pract. 1989 Oct-Dec;2(4):227-33.


This study examines the rate of domestic violence against adult women by men partners. Two hundred eighteen women at two primary care clinics responded anonymously to a questionnaire. Forty-eight percent reported verbal abuse, 44 percent minor physical abuse, and 28 percent severe physical abuse. Abuse was common (16 percent) before marriage. Respondents whose partners were reported to be chemically dependent or sexually abusive were at greater risk for verbal and physical abuse. Respondents with lower socioeconomic status were at increased risk for verbal and physical abuse, as were women whose partners had less formal education. Ages of respondents and partners were not significant factors in abuse. Boyfriends not cohabitating were the least abusive, while couples together for 4 to 6 years had more domestic violence than other couples. Because spouse abuse is common and the consequences are devastating, it is important that family physicians become astute in making this diagnosis and initiate early treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Centers
  • Educational Status
  • Epidemiology*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Dakota / epidemiology
  • Spouse Abuse*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications