University of Iowa Study Finds Higher Incidence of Domestic Violence in Rural Areas

A study by researchers at the University of Iowa College of Public Health’s Injury Prevention Research Center, finds that women in rural areas are more likely than their counterparts in urban or suburban neighborhoods to be subjected to intimate partner violence. And the study found that women in rural areas are more likely to be subjected to more severe physical abuse than women in more populated areas.

Researchers surveyed nearly 1,500 women. Overall, 22.5 percent of women in small rural areas reported incidents of intimate partner violence compared to 15.5 percent in urban locales.

For women who had sought an induced abortion, a population group known from previous studies to have been subjected to high levels of intimate partner violence, the results showed that 61.5 percent of women from rural areas reported four or more incidence of intimate partner violence within the past year compared to 39.3 percent of women from urban areas. Some 30 percent of rural women in this group reported severe or very severe physical abuse compared to 10 percent of women in urban areas.

Lead author Corinne Peek-Asa, professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa, says, “We need to think about how to protect isolated women.”

The study was published online by the Journal of Women’s Health.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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