Effect of type and severity of intimate partner violence on women’s health and service use: Findings from a primary care trial of women afraid of their partners
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has a major impact on women’s wellbeing. This article describes socio-demographic characteristics, experiences of abuse, health, safety, and use of services in women enrolled in the Women’s Evaluation of Abuse and Violence Care (WEAVE) project. The WEAVE project is the first family practice based trial testing the effect of screening plus intervention for IPV on women’s health and wellbeing. The study explores associations between type and severity of abuse and women’s health, quality of life, and help seeking.
The research finds women who were fearful of partners in the last year, have poor mental health and quality of life, attend health care services frequently, and domestic violence services infrequently. It outlines how health practitioners may need to tailor their care and messages to women’s experiences of type and severity of abuse. Exploration of the extent of abuse may allow practitioners to support women in choosing and accessing IPV-specific services appropriate to their safety needs and readiness to change.