Prevalence of intimate partner violence reported by homeless youth in Columbus, Ohio

Natasha Slesnick, Gizem Erdem, Jennifer Collins, Rikki Patton, Cynthia Buettner
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2010, 25 (9): 1579-93
No study to date has reported intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences among homeless youth. This study sought to uncover lifetime prevalence estimates of physical, sexual, and emotional IPV among a nonprobability sample of 180 homeless male and female youth in Columbus, Ohio. To that aim, self-reported IPV and the association between IPV and gender, race, age, and history of childhood abuse were examined. Results showed that physical violence and verbal abuse were the most commonly reported experiences of IPV in the current sample and ranged from 30.0% to 35.4%. Women and those with a history of childhood abuse were more likely to be victimized by their intimate partners. Specifically, multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that women were approximately twice as likely as men to be verbally and physically abused in intimate relationships. Moreover, youth who reported being victims of abuse in childhood were more than twice as likely to experience verbal abuse and physical violence in their relationships. Given the high lifetime occurrence of IPV among homeless youth, intervention efforts should target IPV to prevent future occurrence. Findings also suggest that intervention efforts should consider gender and history of childhood abuse.

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