Unperceived intimate partner violence and women's health

Michela Sonego, Ana Gandarillas, Belén Zorrilla, Luisa Lasheras, Marisa Pires, Ana Anes, María Ordobás

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Women who experience intimate partner violence(IPV) often do not perceive themselves as abused. Thisstudy sought to estimatethe health effectsof unperceived IPV (uIPV), taking violence-free women as the reference, and to compare the effects of uIPV with those of perceived IPV (pIPV). Method: We performed a cross-sectionalpopulation study through telephone interviewsof2835 women aged18 to 70years living inthe region of Madrid and having an ongoingintimate partner relationship or contact with aformer partnerin the preceding year.Based on26 questionsfrom theConflict Tactics Scale-1and the Enquête Nacional sur les Violences envers les Femmes en France and thequestion "Do you feelabused by your partner?" avariablewas constructedin threecategories, namely, the absence ofIPV,uIPV and pIPV.Using logistic regression, we analyzed theassociation between health problems,medication use,health-service utilization and IPV (perceived and unperceived) vis-à-vis the absence of IPV. Results: There were247 cases ofuIPV and 96of pIPV (prevalences of 8.8% and 3.4%, respectively).The multivariate analysis showed that a substantial number ofthe outcomes explored wereassociated withuIPV, pIPV,or both.The highest odds ratios (ORs)were obtainedfor depression(Patient Health Questionnaire-9. ≥. 10) (uIPV: OR3.4,95% CI2.4-3.8;andpIPV: 4.1, 95%CI2.5-6.8).In most problems, the ORsdid not significantly differ between the two types of IPV. Conclusions: uIPV is 2.6times morefrequent thanpIPV and is associatedwith at least as manyhealth problems as pIPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-446
Number of pages7
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • Epidemiology
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Population-based survey
  • Violence against women
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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