Intimate Partner Violence & Rural Older Women Fact Sheet

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Virginia Tech. Center for Gerontology


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological abuse by a spouse, boyfriend, or intimate partner. For older victims of IPV, statistics are not readily available because domestic violence data are generally not specific to violence in later life and elder abuse statistics do not specify abuse by a spouse or intimate partner. Furthermore, older abused women are thus less likely to report abuse to the authorities 1 out of shame, embarrassment, and social expectations to manage family matters privately. Yet, studies on IPV in later life indicate it is a hidden public health problem affecting nearly one‐third of all women ages 50+ each year. The following data offers a glimpse into the prevalence of IPV at the national, state, and local level.