Skip to content ↓

Health effects associated with exposure to intimate partner violence against women and childhood sexual abuse: a burden of proof study

The authors of this systematic review comprehensively searched seven electronic databases for literature on intimate partner violence-associated and childhood sexual abuse-associated health effects. Following the burden of proof methodology, they evaluated the evidence strength linking intimate partner violence and/or childhood sexual abuse to health outcomes supported by at least three studies. Results indicated a moderate association of intimate partner violence with major depressive disorder and with maternal abortion and miscarriage (63% and 35% increased risk, respectively). Fifteen outcomes were evaluated for their relationship to childhood sexual abuse, which was shown to be moderately associated with alcohol use disorders and with self-harm (45% and 35% increased risk, respectively). Although our understanding remains limited by data scarcity, these health impacts are larger in magnitude and more extensive than previously reported. Renewed efforts on violence prevention and evidence-based approaches that promote healing and ensure access to care are necessary.

Published December 11, 2023

Sign up to receive our monthly Research Roundup email, which offers a selection of new public health research from major journals.