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Evidence Brief: Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault Among Veterans

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Evidence Brief: Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault Among Veterans

Prepared by:
Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) Coordinating Center
Portland VA Health Care System
Portland, OR
Mark Helfand, MD, MPH, MS, Director

Recommended Citation:
Parr NJ, Young S, Ward R, Mackey K. Evidence Brief: Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault Among Veterans. Washington, DC: Evidence Synthesis Program, Health Services Research and Development Service, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs. VA ESP Project #09-199; 2021.


Download PDF: Brief, Supplemental Materials

Takeaway

Moderate and low strength evidence suggests that psychological/emotional intimate partner violence is the most common form of experienced and perpetrated intimate partner violence/sexual assault (IPV/SA) among both Veteran women and men, followed by physical IPV and sexual IPV. Most available evidence pertains to experienced IPV/SA among Veteran women and perpetrated IPV/SA among Veteran men. Experienced IPV/SA among Veteran men, IPV/SA perpetrated by Veteran women, and IPV/SA among minority Veterans and intimate partners/spouses of Veterans are understudied.

Context

IPV/SA includes physical violence, sexual violence including sexual assault, stalking, and psychological aggression by a current or former intimate partner ( ie , a spouse, dating partner, or sexual partner). The present review aimed to synthesize what is known about the prevalence of experienced IPV/SA (excluding non-partner SA) among Veterans and intimate partners of Veterans, as well as the prevalence of past-year IPV/SA perpetration by Veterans.

Key Findings

Considerable variation in sampling, recruitment, and data collection methods used among available studies limits the informativeness and quality of the overall body of evidence on IPV/SA among Veterans and spouses/intimate partners of Veterans. Moderate and low strength evidence suggests that psychological/emotional IPV is the most common form of experienced and perpetrated IPV/SA among both Veteran women and men, followed by physical IPV and sexual IPV. Most available evidence pertains to experienced IPV/SA among Veteran women and perpetrated IPV/SA among Veteran men. Experienced IPV/SA among Veteran men, IPV/SA perpetrated by Veteran women, and IPV/SA among minority Veterans and intimate partners/spouses of Veterans are understudied. Future studies of IPV/SA prevalence among Veterans should attempt to generate prevalence estimates that are applicable to Veterans of the range of ages, sexual and gender identities, races/ethnicities, and geographic contexts present in the Veteran population.

See also

Evidence Brief: Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault among Veterans (Management eBrief)


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