These Three Statistics About Domestic Violence & Health May Surprise You

health professionals talking - domestic violence

We know that intimate-partner violence (IPV) is a leading health issue and can have a significant adverse impact on someone’s physical and mental well-being (it’s why we recently launched and

Health care providers play a critical role when it comes to intervention and assisting survivors.

Take, for instance, these statistics:

Intimate-partner violence is more prevalent for women in the U.S. than breast cancer and diabetes combined.

One in 4 women experiences IPV, and rates can be even higher for LGBTQ and other marginalized communities. This staggering health issue showcases just how essential it is for domestic violence agencies and healthcare settings across the country to establish effective partnerships. This is what led to Futures Without Violence creating two new digital hubs to help facilitate these partnerships in service of survivors.

Survivors are more likely to experience asthma, chronic pain, diabetes, and more.

The domino effect of health issues that survivors may experience as a result of their abuse is all the more reason we should take IPV seriously in our communities, particularly when it comes to holistic approaches to health care. Through an initiative called the Improving Health Outcomes Through Violence Prevention Project, FUTURES has taken the key learnings to help prepare health care providers to address the health impact of violence. The result is, a step-by-step guide by and for community health centers and local domestic violence agencies to work in tandem to better meet the health needs of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

Survivors are 4 times more likely to use an intervention after talking with a health care professional about abuse.

From Eastern Iowa Health Center, we recently heard an account of a patient disclosing to her health care provider during a visit that her asthma had been exacerbated by the cologne her husband was wearing. When the provider asked if the patient could ask her husband not to wear the cologne around her, she replied that her husband had worn the cologne intentionally to aggravate her asthma. The provider recognized this behavior as a warning sign of abuse and was able to talk to the patient about how relationships can affect health, and connected the patient (who later disclosed additional abusive behaviors) to resources for support.

It’s our hope that interactions like this occur more often so that survivors can get the help they need and so that health care providers are well equipped to support. Specifically, we encourage everyone – particularly the health community – to explore, which provides background information on the health impact of violence and abuse, as well as tools and resources for establishing a partnership between domestic violence agencies and health settings.

Together, we can work to intervene and support survivors, and ultimately end violence against women.


For more information, visit and for resources on the health impact of violence and abuse, and how to get started partnering with a local DV agency or health center.