The Epidemiology of Domestic Violence. Thomas Songer, PhD Cristie Glasheen, MPH University of Pittsburgh. Key Points. What is being measured? What is NOT being measured? How does this affect the results?. Definition of Violence. …...To understand violence, you need to define violence.
Thomas Songer, PhD
Cristie Glasheen, MPH
University of Pittsburgh
What is being measured?
What is NOT being measured?
How does this affect the results?
…...To understand violence, you
need to define violence
How would you define
domestic violencenoun: violence committed by one member of a family or household against another
The National Research Council defines violence as:
- behaviour by individuals that intentionally threaten, attempt, or inflict physical harm on others
Intimate Partners (IP)
You are planning to do a study of domestic violence using pre-existing data.
Where would you look?
Trauma Center Records
Recommended: Rudman WJ. Coding and Documentation of Domestic Violence.
December, 2000. Available at: http://endabuse.org/programs/healthcare/files/codingpaper.pdf
33 head injuries
56 trauma center admissions
177 hospital admissions
2115 ED visits
7,038 substantiated cases
64,560 maltreatment events
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) – relatively new term
Also called: domestic violence, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battery, violence against women
Against Women seen in Medical Settings
Definition and Method
Physical and sexual abuse reported
in physician practices
Physical and sexual abuse and
threats by current partner reported
in internal medicine clinics
Physical abuse reported in an urban
Physical or sexual abuse reported in
community hospital emergency
Physical abuse identified in trauma
patients in urban emergency
Physical abuse or threats reported in
urban, acute care emergency
departments and clinics
Physical trauma identified in ten
Source: American Journal of Preventive MedicineVolume 34, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 112-118
7% treated in emergency department
10% sought medical care
32% not treated for injury
51% had physical injuries
50% reported to police
960,000 women victimized
Intimate Partner Violence
You have decided that existing data sources are not adequate to answer your research question.
You want to design a new study.
What do you need to consider?
Who are you going to measure?
Easiest to identify
Severity of injury
What are you missing?
Exposed with no injury
What is the threshold?
When is it a psychological “bruise” and when is it a “trauma”?
What does this mean for prevention
Experienced or potential for abuse?
Officially reported, unreported, or both
Suspected or confirmed
Attempts or completions
Type of exposure
Physical and/or Neglect
Domestic Violence is wrought with ethical considerations unique to this field of research