Domestic Violence

Topic Overview

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is abuse that happens in a personal relationship. It can happen between past or current partners, spouses, or boyfriends and girlfriends.

Domestic violence affects men and women of any ethnic group, race, or religion; gay or straight; rich or poor; teen, adult, or elderly. But most of its victims are women. In fact, 1 in 4 women will be a victim at some point.1

The abuser may use fear, bullying, and threats to gain power and control over the other person. He or she may act jealous, controlling, or possessive. These early signs of abuse may happen soon after the start of the relationship and might be hard to notice at first.

After the relationship becomes more serious, the abuse may get worse.

  • The abuser may begin making threats, calling the other person names, and slamming doors or breaking dishes. This is a form of emotional abuse that is sometimes used to make the person feel bad or weak.
  • Physical abuse that starts with a slap might lead to kicking, shoving, and choking over time.2
  • As a way to control the person, the abuser may make violent threats against the person’s children, other family members, or pets.
  • Abusers may also control or withhold money to make the person feel weak and dependent. This is called financial abuse.
  • Domestic violence also includes sexual abuse, such as forcing a person to have sex against her will.

Money troubles and problems with alcohol can make it more likely that abuse will happen.

Abuse is also common in teens who are dating. It often happens through controlling behaviors and jealousy.

What should you do if you're being abused?

Get help.

  • Get in touch with a local domestic violence group for information and support. They can help you find out about legal and social services in your area. To find the program nearest you that offers shelter and legal support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) or see the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Web site at
  • Talk to the police.
  • If you are a teen, talk to a trusted adult, such as your parents, family friend, or school counselor. Many teens don't have the life experience or maturity to know when they are being abused. Talking to an adult may help.

Here are some other things you can do.

  • Make sure that you know phone numbers you can call and places you can go in an emergency.
  • Teach your children not to get in the middle of a fight.
  • If you think you may leave, make a plan to help keep you safe. This will help when you are getting ready to leave. Your plan might include:
    • Putting together and hiding a suitcase of clothing; copies of your car and house keys; money or credit cards; and important papers, such as Social Security cards and birth certificates for you and your children.
    • Opening a savings account or getting a credit card, if you can do so in secret.

What should you do if you know someone who is being abused?

Here are some things you can do to help.

  • Be a good listener and a caring friend.
  • Remind the person that no one deserves to be treated this way.
  • Let the person know that the abuse is against the law and that help is available.
  • Help the person make a plan to stay safe.
  • You can also suggest that the person call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) to find a local domestic violence support group.

Keep in mind that the person may not want to leave. He or she often knows the abuser best and knows what options are safest. But it is important for victims of abuse to know where they can get help.

Why do victims stay?

People who are not abused might find it hard to understand why anyone would stay in a violent relationship. Some people think that if a person stays in an abusive relationship, she or he must be weak or needy. This is not true.

There is more to this issue than simply leaving or staying. A woman may fear that the abuser will hurt her and her children or take her children away. She may have limited financial options. She may blame herself. She may stay for religious reasons or because she does not want to break up the family. Also, she may still love her abuser and hope that things will get better. A man who is being abused may have a similar experience.

What are the harmful effects of domestic violence?

Domestic violence hurts victims as well as their families. Don't ignore it.

People who suffer from abuse can be badly hurt. They are also likely to have long-lasting (chronic) health problems, such as depression, headaches, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This is because of the repeated injuries and stress from living with abuse.

Abuse can happen more often and get worse when women are pregnant. It is dangerous for both the mother and the baby. It can raise the baby's risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and death.3, 4 The pregnant woman is at higher risk of other problems, such as infections and bleeding.

And abuse has a big effect on children. Children who live in a home where abuse happens see violence as a normal way of life. It also raises their chance of being in a violent relationship as adults, either as abusers or as victims.5 Teens are at a greater risk for depression, drug and alcohol use, and bad behavior.

Signs of Domestic Violence

Most relationships have difficult times, and almost every couple argues occasionally. But violence is different from common marital or relationship discord. Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse that a partner—former or current partner, spouse, or boyfriend or girlfriend—uses to control the behavior of another.

Domestic violence often starts with threats, name-calling, and slamming doors or breaking dishes, and escalates to pushing, slapping, and other violent acts. See more types of abuse. If you are concerned about your relationship, ask yourself the following questions.

Does your partner:
  • Embarrass or belittle you or put you down?
  • Say hurtful things to you?
  • Dislike your friends and family and discourage your relationships with others?
  • Make all the decisions in the relationship?
  • Chastise you after social functions for talking with other people?
  • Act jealous of people you talk to?
  • Blame you for his or her mistakes?
  • Try to make you feel worthless or helpless?
  • Forbid or prevent you from working or going to school?
  • Keep money, credit cards, and checking accounts away from you?
  • Control access to your medicines or medical devices?
  • Threaten to have you deported?
  • Throw dishes or other objects?
  • Abuse your children or pet when mad at you?
  • Push, slap, kick, or otherwise assault you?
  • Demand sex, make you perform sexual acts you are not comfortable with, or sexually assault you?

If any of these behaviors are occurring, you need to seek help.

Do you have a friend, coworker, relative, or neighbor who you think may be in an abusive relationship? Warning signs that may indicate that a person is a victim of domestic abuse include:

  • Bruises or injuries that look like they came from choking, punching, or being thrown down. Black eyes, red or purple marks at the neck, and sprained wrists are common injuries sustained in violent relationships. An injury such as bruised arms might suggest that a victim tried to defend herself.
  • Attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing.
  • Making excuses like tripping or being accident-prone or clumsy. Often the seriousness of the injury does not match up with the explanation.
  • Having low self-esteem; being extremely apologetic and meek.
  • Referring to the partner's temper but not disclosing extent of abuse.
  • Having few close friends and being isolated from relatives and coworkers and kept from making friends.
  • Having little money available; may not have credit cards or even a car.
  • Having a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
  • Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness or hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities.
  • Talking about suicide or attempting suicide. For more information, see warning signs of suicide.

Encourage this person to talk with a health professional.

What Increases Your Risk

Domestic violence affects all types of people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, and religion. Many people have experienced domestic violence. It is estimated that 25% of women and 8% of men in the United States have been physically and/or sexually abused by an intimate partner at some point in their adult lives.1

Domestic abuse is also a significant problem among the elderly. It is estimated that between 1.5% and 6.4% of people over 60 years old are mistreated by a caregiver, family member, spouse, or friend.6 For more information, see Elder Abuse.

While domestic violence can affect men, the large majority (85%) of its victims are women.7 Domestic violence occurs among all socioeconomic groups, but poverty increases the likelihood it will occur.8 Poverty can raise the level of stress and conflict within a relationship, which then becomes more prone to violence. Poverty can also make some men feel as though they are powerless and inadequate. This sense of failure may trigger violence toward their partners.

Alcohol abuse also increases the risk of domestic violence. Researchers estimate that in 45% of domestic violence cases, men had been drinking. In 20% of cases, women had been drinking.8

Abuse often increases when a partner is considering leaving the relationship. This might cause the other partner to feel as though he or she is losing control. A victim is at increased risk of stalking, attempted murder, and murder after leaving an abusive relationship.8 In homicides where the killer was identified, about 33% of women who were murdered, and 4% of men who were murdered, were killed by their intimate partners.7

See more risk factors for abuse.

Harmful Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most common causes of injury to women in the United States. The head, face, neck, chest, breasts, and abdomen are the areas most frequently injured.9

After battering starts, it usually continues and is likely to increase in severity if left untreated. For example, battering that starts with a slap may escalate over time to kicking and shoving and finally choking.2 The repeated injury and stress of living in a violent relationship often results in long-lasting health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, headaches, chronic neck or back pain, depression, and sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS). Other long-lasting health problems include irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, and pelvic pain. In fact, abused women have a 50% to 70% increase in these kinds of major health problems.10 Women who are abused are also more likely to smoke or abuse alcohol.11

Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women who are in abusive relationships. Abuse may increase in severity or even start during pregnancy. An estimated 6% of all pregnant women are battered.1 Problems during pregnancy, such as low weight gain, anemia, infections, and bleeding, are higher for these women. Not surprisingly, babies born to abused women also suffer. Abuse during pregnancy has been shown to increase the baby's risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and death.3, 4

Children who witness domestic violence can also suffer long-term consequences. Many studies have shown that children who grow up witnessing abuse suffer from emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems. They are at greater risk for depression, poor school performance, withdrawal, and complaints like stomachaches and headaches. Often, on the playground and at school, boys display to some degree the aggressive behavior they witness at home.12

By the teen years, both boys and girls are at increased risk for depression, drug and alcohol use, and disruptive behavior. Affected teen girls attempt suicide more often.13

The legacy of domestic violence is passed on when children are raised to believe that violence is a normal way of life. Children who witness domestic violence are more apt to be involved in violent relationships as adults, either as abusers or victims.5

And children often suffer directly. Men who batter their wives also frequently assault their children. Violence or the threat of violence toward a victim's children is often used to control a battered woman. In 30% to 60% of these violent homes, the children are also abused.1

Children often believe that somehow they are the cause of the violence in the home. You can help your children by assuring them that they are loved and not at fault. Children need to feel that they are protected and safe. When you leave an abusive relationship, you show by example that violence is wrong.

Why Victims Stay

People who are not abused might find it difficult to understand why anyone would stay in a violent relationship. Victims are often blamed. Some people falsely believe that if a person stays in an abusive relationship, she or he must be weak or needy. This is not true of victims of domestic violence.

The issue is more complex than simply leaving or staying. People stay for many reasons. Remember, abusers use psychological, emotional, and physical abuse along with apologies, promises, and affection to control their victims. The victim is often confused and holds on to the hope that the batterer will change. The batterer may ask for forgiveness, make promises to stop, and be affectionate and doting. Along with painful times, there may be loving moments and happy memories. The abuser may be a good provider or parent.

Abused women and men are often depressed and emotionally drained from the ongoing conflict. Abusers try to isolate victims from family and friends so that the victims do not have anyone to support them if they do leave. Victims often feel tremendous shame and embarrassment and use denial as a way of coping with the abuse.

Since money is often tightly controlled, a woman may fear losing financial support and may question how she will be able to support herself and her children. She may even fear losing child custody. In some cases, religious counselors, relatives, or friends may encourage women to stay to keep the family together.

Immigrant women might stay in an abusive relationship because they are afraid of being deported. Not being fluent in English might also be a challenge for immigrant women. Women who are elderly or have disabilities may not feel they have any other options than to stay with their abusive partner.

A woman may realistically believe that it is more dangerous to leave than to stay. In many cases, the abuser has threatened to kill her, himself, or the children if she tries to leave. (This is also true of men who are abused.) In fact, a woman is at increased risk of stalking, attempted murder, and murder after she leaves an abusive relationship.8 About 33% of women who are murdered and 4% of men who are murdered are killed by a former or current intimate partner.7

How to Help

Many victims of domestic violence are willing to talk about their relationship when they are approached in a kind and understanding manner. But don't confront a victim if the person is not ready to talk. Let the person know you are willing to listen whenever she or he wants to talk. Be understanding if the person is unable to leave. He or she often knows the situation best and when it is safest to leave.

Reassure the person that the abuse is not his or her fault and that no one deserves to be abused. If the person has children, gently point out that you are concerned that the violence is affecting them. Many victims do not understand that their children are being harmed until someone else voices the concern.

Remind the victim that domestic violence is against the law and that help is available. You may be able to help a victim understand his or her options. Be willing to assist in any way you can with transportation, money, or child care. Encourage your friend to talk with a health professional.

The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when the person is leaving an abusive relationship, so any advice about leaving must be knowledgeable and practical. Encourage the victim to get advice from an advocacy agency with experience in the area of domestic violence.

Helping a person contact local domestic violence groups is an important step. If you know someone who is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) or see the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Web site at to find the nearest program offering shelter and legal support. There are many programs across the country that provide options for safety, advocacy, support, and needed information and services.

Encourage and help your friend develop a safety plan. This is a strategy to keep the person and his or her children safe during a violent incident, when preparing to leave, and after leaving. For more information, see the Developing a Safety Plan section of this topic.

Developing a Safety Plan

A violent relationship puts you and your children at risk for injury and even death. Developing a plan will help provide for your safety and the safety of your children. A good safety plan considers which steps to take if you choose to stay in the relationship or if you choose to leave.

Steps to take if you are in the relationship:

  • Contact a local advocacy group for support, information, and advice on how to stay safe. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) for the nearest advocacy program. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English, Spanish, and other languages. Also, see the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Web site at to find the program nearest to you that offers shelter and legal support.
  • Make a list of people you can call in an emergency and places you can go. Memorize important numbers. Teach your children how to call for help in an emergency.
  • If you or your children are in danger, leave immediately.
  • Consider telling neighbors about the violence, and ask that they call the police if they hear loud noises coming from the house.
  • Establish a code word or sign that can be used to alert family, friends, teachers, or coworkers when to call for help.
  • Teach your children not to get in the middle of a fight.
  • When an argument occurs, go to a safe room. Avoid rooms with no exits such as closets or bathrooms, or a room such as the kitchen with objects that can be used as weapons. Also, keep your children out of these unsafe rooms.
  • Keep change with you at all times to make emergency phone calls.

Steps to take when preparing to leave:

  • Contact a local advocacy group for information about how and where to go, what kinds of legal help you can expect, and what other social services are available, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
  • Put together a suitcase with items to take when you leave. This should include duplicate car and house keys, clothing, money or charge cards, and important papers, including Social Security cards and birth certificates for you and your children, your marriage license, leases or deeds in your name or both your and your partner's names, insurance policies, and any photos or police or medical reports that document past incidents of abuse. Hide these items in a place (possibly outside of your house) where they will not be discovered.
  • Open a savings account and obtain a credit card and a telephone card if it is possible to do so secretly.
  • Keep change with you at all times for phone calls. Remember that any long-distance calls or calls you have made on a telephone card before you leave can show up on statements and point your abuser in your direction.
  • At work, tell your supervisor and the human resources manager about your situation. Discuss scheduling options and other safety precautions to provide for your well-being. Give a recent photo of the abuser to your human resources manager, and if possible, ask to prohibit the abuser's access to your workplace.

You can ask a police officer to be present at your home when you leave or when you need to collect clothing or property from your home.

After you have left, you may have to take extra measures to stay safe. Your local advocacy group can help you get in touch with legal and social services in your area. This group may also provide information on counseling and support groups that can help you recover emotionally from your abuse.

Legal Protection from Abuse

Many women and men are reluctant to call police when they are beaten. Victims fear that their partners will retaliate or that police officers will be insensitive and embarrass them, among other concerns. But many communities have made great progress in educating police officers and other people in the criminal justice system about domestic violence.

Many states require that police officers automatically arrest the abuser if they believe domestic violence has occurred. In some communities, assistance from local victim's advocacy groups and state social services are requested at the same time. Along with these services, the law can be another tool you can use to increase your safety and independence.

In many states, police officers can help you obtain a temporary protective order (or restraining order) at the scene of the crime. These orders usually last until a permanent protective order can be issued.

In general, protective orders require the abuser to stay away from you, your home, your workplace, or your school—to stop all contact, whether by telephone, notes, e-mail, or other means—and to stop harming or threatening you. You can request a protective order at any time. An abuser can be arrested for violating a protective order, which is considered contempt of court and a minor (misdemeanor) criminal offense.

Although they are available in all states, each state has different laws governing protective orders. Many states allow you to obtain a protective order without an attorney. Keep your protective order with you at all times, and keep a copy in a safe place. If you travel to another state, check to see if your protective order is valid in that state. Some states enforce protective orders from other states, but many do not.

While protective orders do not automatically prevent you from being abused, they do deter abusers. In one large study that followed women for 12 months, women who obtained permanent protective court orders were 80% less likely to be physically or psychologically abused than those who did not receive permanent protective orders.14

Contact your local domestic violence group, legal aid society, or family court for help. See the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Web site at to find the program nearest to you that offers shelter and legal support. Also, the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) can provide you with contacts.

The court may also award temporary custody of children to you, along with child support, spousal support, and use of the home and car along with the protective order. The court may be able to order the batterer to pay your legal costs and fees. As a victim of a crime, you may also be eligible for additional financial support from the court.

The court can also extend the protective order to your children and order the abuser to have no contact with them, your children's doctors, day care, or school.

Many states require that abusers attend batterer intervention programs. These programs try to make abusers accountable for their behavior and educate them about healthy alternatives to their abuse. Batterer intervention programs report varying degrees of success, although so far, studies have not verified that success. Most experts believe that batterer programs are most effective when the abuser recognizes that his or her behavior is abusive, and wants to change.15

Teen Relationship Abuse

Abuse in dating relationships is common among teens. In the United States, 33% of teens reporting some kind of abuse and 12% reporting physical abuse.16

Teen dating abuse is like domestic violence in adults in that it also is a pattern of abusive behavior used to control another person. Teen dating abuse can include emotional or mental abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse.

For teens, relationship abuse often takes the form of extreme possessiveness and jealousy. Abusers try to manipulate their dating partners by making all the decisions, putting them down in front of friends, threatening to kill themselves, stalking them, or forcing them to have sex.

Like adult domestic violence, teen relationship abuse affects all types of teens, regardless of their how much money their parents make, what their grades are, how they look or dress, their religion, or their race. Teen relationship abuse occurs in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian relationships.

Unlike adult domestic violence in which women are more often the victim, in teen relationship abuse both boys and girls report abuse about equally.17 But boys tend to start the violence more often and use greater force.17

The pattern of abuse in teens is often similar to adult abuse with repeated violence that escalates over time. Often, the abuser quickly apologizes and promises to change. Sometimes teens do not have the experience or maturity to recognize that they are involved in an abusive relationship.

Relationship abuse not only poses direct dangers for teens but also puts them at risk for other problems. Teens who experience violent relationship abuse are more likely to take sexual risks, do poorly in school, and use drugs and alcohol. Girls are at higher risk for pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and suicide attempts.17

If you question whether your relationship might be abusive, see the Signs of Domestic Violence section of this topic. There are many resources available for teens. If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, talk to your parents or another adult family member, a school counselor or teacher, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).

Other Places To Get Help


Family and Friends' Guide to Domestic Violence: How to Listen, Talk and Take Action When Someone You Care About Is Being Abused
Author/Editor: E. Weiss
Publisher: Volcano Press
P.O. Box 270
Volcano, CA  95689
Publication Date: 2003

This book provides information for family and friends on how to help victims of domestic violence.


Family Violence Prevention Fund
383 Rhode Island Street
Suite 304
San Francisco, CA  94103-5133
Phone: (415) 252-8900
Fax: (415) 252-8991
TDD: 1-800-595-4889
Web Address:

The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) works to prevent violence within the home and in the community. The organization promotes leadership within communities to transform the way health professionals, police, judges, employers, and others deal with violence. FVPF has programs specifically related to children, health, immigrant women, teens, the workplace, and other communities that are affected by violence.

Love is Not Abuse
Web Address:

Love Is Not Abuse is a program through Liz Claiborne, Inc., that offers information on domestic violence for men, women, children, and teens. The Web site provides statistics, handbooks, and resources along with interactive tools for people at risk.

Men Stopping Violence
533 West Howard Avenue
Suite C
Decatur, GA  30030
Phone: (404) 270-9894
Fax: (404) 270-9895
Web Address:

Men Stopping Violence works to end men's violence against women through training and educational programs. MSV also offers telephone contacts, orientation classes, courtroom interventions, 24-week classes, and an ongoing community restitution program for men who complete the 24-week curriculum. MSV allies with other organizations working specifically toward ending men's violence against women and also those working to end racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
TDD: 1-800-787-3224
E-mail: (e-mail is not confidential or secure)
Web Address:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers crisis intervention, information about domestic violence, and referrals to local service providers for victims of domestic violence and those calling on their behalf. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English, Spanish, and other languages. The hotline connects callers to more than 4,000 shelters and service providers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.



  1. Family Violence Prevention Fund (2004). National Consensus Guidelines on Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence Victimization in Health Care Settings. Available online:
  2. Lawson DM (2003). Incidence, explanations, and treatment of partner violence. Journal of Counseling and Development, 81(1): 19–32.
  3. Lipsky S, et al. (2003). Impact of police-reported intimate partner violence during pregnancy on birth outcomes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(3): 557–564.
  4. Janssen PA, et al. (2003). Intimate partner violence and adverse pregnancy outcomes: A population-based study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 188(5): 1341–1347.
  5. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006). Intimate partner violence: Fact sheet. Available online:
  6. Meit SS (2007). Elderly mistreatment. In RE Rakel, ed., Textbook of Family Medicine, 7th ed., pp. 47–65. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
  7. Rennison CM (2003). Intimate Partner Violence, 1993–2001. Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief. Available online:
  8. Jewkes R (2002). Intimate partner violence: Causes and prevention. Lancet, 359(9315): 1423–1425.
  9. Campbell JC (2002). Health consequences of intimate partner violence. Lancet, 359(9314): 1331–1337.
  10. Campbell J, et al. (2002). Intimate partner violence and physical health consequences. Archives of Internal Medicine, 162(10): 1157–1163.
  11. Gerber MR, et al. (2005). Adverse health behaviors and the detection of partner violence by clinicians. Archives of Internal Medicine, 165(9): 1016–1021.
  12. McFarlane JM, et al. (2003). Behaviors of children who are exposed and not exposed to intimate partner violence: An analysis of 330 black, white, and Hispanic children. Pediatrics, 112(3): E202–E207.
  13. Roberts TA, et al. (2003). Longitudinal effect of intimate partner abuse on high-risk behavior among adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 157(9): 875–881.
  14. Holt VL, et al. (2002). Civil protection orders and risk of subsequent police-reported violence. JAMA, 288(5): 589–594.
  15. Jackson S, et al. (2003). Batterer intervention programs: Where do we go from here. National Institute of Justice Special Report, No. 195079. Available online:
  16. Halpern CT, et al. (2001). Partner violence among adolescents in opposite-sex romantic relationships: Findings from the national longitudinal study of adolescent health. American Journal of Public Health, 91(10): 1679–1685.
  17. Roberts TA, Klein J (2003). Intimate partner abuse and high-risk behavior in adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 157(4): 375–380.

Other Works Consulted

  • Aldridge ML, Browne KD (2003). Perpetrators of spousal homicide: A review. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 4(3): 265–276.
  • Bonomi AE, et al. (2006). Intimate partner violence and women's physical, mental, and social functioning. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 30(6): 458–466.
  • Bonomi AE, et al. (2007). Intimate partner violence in older women. Gerontologist, 47(1): 34–41.
  • Campbell JC (2007). Prediction of homicide of and by battered women. In JC Campbell, ed., Assessing Dangerousness: Violence by Batterers and Child Abusers, pp. 85–104. New York: Springer.
  • Felson RB, et al. (2002). Reasons for reporting and not reporting domestic violence to the police. Criminology, 40(3): 617–647.
  • Hilton NZ, Harris GT (2007). Assessing risk of intimate partner violence. In JC Campbell, ed., Assessing Dangerousness: Violence by Batterers and Child Abusers, pp. 105–125. New York: Springer.
  • Klevens J, Sadowski L (2007). Intimate partner violence towards women, search date December 2006. Online version of Clinical Evidence. Also available online:
  • Sharps PW, et al. (2007). Intimate partner violence and the childbearing year: Maternal and infant health consequences. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 8(2): 105–116.
  • Sheridan DJ, et al. (2007). Prediction of interpersonal violence: An introduction. In JC Campbell, ed., Assessing Dangerousness: Violence by Batterers and Child Abusers, pp. 1–23. New York: Springer.
  • Thompson RS, et al. (2006). Intimate partner violence: Prevalence, types, and chronicity in adult women. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 30(6): 447–457.
  • Tolan P, et al. (2006). Family violence. Annual Review of Psychology, 57: 557–83.
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2004). Screening for family and intimate partner violence: Recommendation statement. Available online:


Author Jeannette Curtis
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brigid McCaw, MD, MS, MPH, FACP - Family Violence Prevention
Last Updated March 20, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.