Promote Healthy, Consensual and Safe Relationships

Exposure to violence and abuse can greatly affect a woman’s overall health and access to information and services. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “abuse that occurs between two people in a close relationship,” including current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV encompasses a wide spectrum of violence that can manifest as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, such as the use of physical force, rape, threats of abuse, intimidation, isolation, and stalking.

The National Violence Against Women Survey found that approximately 25% of women and 8% of men have experienced some form of IPV in their lifetimes, highlighting the widespread incidence of IPV in the United States and the particularly large burden carried by women. Between 1993 and 2005, urban residents reported the highest average annual rates of IPV. Approximately 40% more IPV occurred in urban areas than in suburban and rural areas, and the bulk of those victimized were women. Local advocates and public officials in urban areas can and must come together to work in coalition to address these disparities in violence occurring within their communities.

Local Recommendations:

Communities must work to eliminate intimate partner and sexual violence, incidences of which greatly impact many aspects of community life and health. Women and youth, who are at particular risk of experiencing intimate partner and sexual violence, need the commitment of local officials and advocates who can integrate programmatic and policy change into the variety of local services that impact survivors, including law enforcement, health care provision, and schools.
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© 2012 National Institute for Reproductive Health