Domestic Violence (cont.)

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What are the causes or risk factors for intimate partner violence?

Although there is no specific cause for domestic violence, women at the highest risk for being the victim of domestic violence include those with male partners who abuse drugs (especially alcohol), are unemployed or underemployed, have not graduated from high school, and are or have been in a romantic relationship with the victim. Unmarried individuals in heterosexual relationships tend to be more at risk for becoming victims of intimate partner abuse. A mind-set that gives men power over women puts individuals at risk for becoming involved in an abusive relationship, either as a perpetrator or as a victim. Domestic violence against women tends to be reported more often by victims who are in a relationship with a man with more conservative religious views than their own, regardless of whether or not the couple is of the same or different religions or denominations. Regular attendance at religious services is apparently associated with less reported intimate partner abuse. Research shows that those who grew up in a household in which domestic violence took place are more likely to become either perpetrators or victims of intimate partner violence as adults. Teenagers who suffer from mental illness are also at risk for being an abusive relationship as young adults. African-American and Hispanic teens have been found to be at higher risk for being victims of teen domestic violence. Another risk factor for teen dating/domestic violence includes lower grades.

What are the warning signs and symptoms of intimate partner abuse?

PsychCentral provides a list of several screening questions for people who wonder if they are the victim of any form of domestic abuse. In addition to asking questions about whether the reader feels excessively controlled (such as having their partner keep excessive track of daily activities and associations, or being demeaned by critical remarks, insults and name calling), the list of questions further explores whether more obvious acts of abuse have occurred, like kicking, punching, or throwing objects. The acronym AARDVARC (An Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection) describes a number of warning signs for friends, family members, and coworkers for recognizing people who may be victims of intimate partner abuse. Specifically, teens, men, or women who are often absent from school or work, have numerous injuries they try to explain away, low self-esteem, show a change in their personality, fear of conflicts, passive-aggressive behavior, blame themselves, seem isolated, or demonstrate stress-related physical symptoms (for example, headaches, stomach upset, sleep problems, or skin rashes) may be experiencing abuse in their relationship.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2014

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Domestic Violence - Warning Signs and Symptoms Question: What types of domestic abuse did you or a friend experience, and what were the warning signs?
Domestic Violence - Safety Plans Question: As a victim of domestic violence, a safety plan is essential. What is yours or your friend's?
Domestic Violence - Laws Question: Please discuss legal action or protection that has assisted you with partner abuse.
Domestic Violence - Prevention Question: In what ways have you helped prevent domestic abuse, either personally or for a friend or relative?
Domestic Violence - Getting Help Question: Which groups or organizations have helped you or a friend get support for domestic violence?