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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


VIVES-CASES, Carmen; CARRASCO-PORTINO, Mercedes  and  ALVAREZ-DARDET, Carlos. Epidemic of intimate partner violence against women in Spain: Temporal distribution and victim age. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.4, pp.298-305. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To explore temporal distribution and victim age in deaths and women's reports of intimate partner violence (IPV) to illustrate an approach to the results of the measures developed in Spain to combat this problem. Methods: We performed a descriptive epidemiological study based on statistics from the Federation of Divorced and Separated Women, the Queen Sofía Centre for the study of Violence, and the Home Affairs databases (1998-2005). Rates of mortality and reports of IPV were calculated by age (< 21 years old, from 21 to 50 years, > 50 years) and year. The ratio between the actual number of IPV deaths and reports in a given month and the median number of cases in the same month in the 5 preceding years (epidemic index) was calculated. Results: From the end of 2004, the epidemic index scores indicate that rates of mortality and reports due to intimate partner violence have tended to decrease. The highest IPV murder and report rates and epidemic index scores were observed in women aged 21-50 years old throughout the period, except in 2004, when mortality rates in women aged less than 21 years were highest, and in 2005, when report rates in women aged more than 50 years increased. Conclusion: In the last year, 2005, the IPV epidemic seemed to be decreasing. The fact that this problem affects women mostly in ages when they are fertile and active in the workforce suggests the instrumental use of IPV to keep women in a subordinate position.

Keywords : Battered women; Domestic violence; Mortality; Reports.

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