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The Co-Occurrence of Intimate Partner Violence and Violence Against Children: A Systematic Review on Associated Factors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


Violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) are public health issues of global concern. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a commonly occurring form of VAW and there is evidence to suggest that IPV and VAC frequently co-occur within the same families. This systematic literature review searched for studies published in any language between 1st January 2000 to 16th February 2021 and identified 33 studies that provided findings for co-occurring IPV and VAC in 24 low- and middleincome countries (PROSPERO: CRD42020180179). These studies were split into subgroups based on the types of cooccurring violence they present and meta-analyses were conducted to calculate pooled odds ratios (ORs) within these subgroups. Our results indicate a significant association between IPV and VAC, with all pooled ORs showing a significant positive association between the two. Almost half of the studies focused exclusively on co-occurrence between male-to-female IPV and female caregiver-to-child VAC; few authors reported on male caregiver-to-child violence. Only three studies identified risk factors for co-occurring IPV and VAC, and those that did suggested conflicting findings on the risks associated with maternal age, alcohol and drug use, and parental education level. We also found incongruity in the violence definitions and measurements used across studies. Future research should aim to develop more consistent definitions and measurements for co-occurrence and move beyond solely examining dyadic and unidirectional violence occurrence in families; this will allow us to better understand the interrelationships between these different forms of abuse.


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Publication date: 2022

Author(s): Franziska Meinck, Isabelle Pearson, Floriza Gennari, Sabrina Page, Alessandra Guedes, Cathy Zimmerman, Heidi Stockl

Journal: Trauma, Violence & Abuse

Language: English

Related Innocenti Project(s):

Violence against children