​Intimate partner violence and its association with physical and mental symptoms among older women in Germany

Author(s) Stocki, Heidi, and Bridget Penhale
Title Intimate partner violence and its association with physical and mental symptoms among older women in Germany
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence; November 2014 published online before print; p1-23
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
CoverageGermany
Summary This study examined four different types of intimate partner violence: physical and sexual violence; emotional abuse; controlling behaviour; and economic abuse. A total of 10,264 women participated in the study, and data was examined in three age groups: 16-49 years, 50 to 65 years and 66 to 86 years, with particular interest focusing on older women who were not of reproductive age. The survey instrument measured the participant's current physical and psychological health, their history of injuries and weight problems. Across all age groups the most frequent form of intimate partner violence experienced was controlling behaviour, with economic abuse the second most prevalent. The experience of controlling behaviour was found to be associated with health symptoms for women across all age groups and included higher likelihoods of experiencing gastrointestinal syndromes, psychosomatic symptoms, pelvic problems and strong psychological problems. Recommendations are made for service providers to include questions about controlling behaviour when screening for intimate partner violence and to acknowledge generational values held by older women as well as a lack of awareness of available services.
Keywords Domestic violence; elder abuse; mental health; battered women; intimate partner violence.
Topic Domestic violence