Partner violence screening in rural health care clinics

Ann L. Coker, Vicki C. Flerx, Paige H. Smith, Daniel J. Whitaker, Mary Kay Fadden, Melinda Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to determine the frequency of intimate partner violence by type in a large, clinic-based, nurse-administered screening and services intervention project. Methods. A brief intimate partner violence screen, which included items to measure sexual and physical assaults and psychological battering (using the Women's Experience With Battering scale) was administered to consenting women receiving care at 1 of 8 rural clinics in South Carolina. Results. Between April 2002 and August 2005, 4945 eligible women were offered intimate partner violence screening, to which 3664 (74.1%) consented. Prevalence of intimate partner violence in a current (ongoing) relationship was 13.3%, and 939 women (25.6%) had experienced intimate partner violence at some point in the past 5 years. Of those ever experiencing intimate partner violence, the majority (65.6%) experienced both assaults and psychological battering; 10.1% experienced assault only, and 24.3% experienced psychological battering only. Most women (85.5%) currently experiencing both psychological battering and assaults stated that violence was a problem in their current relationship. Conclusions. The intimate partner violence screening technique we used was feasible to implement, acceptable to women seeking health care at the targeted clinics, and indicated a high proportion of women reporting intimate partner violence in the past 5 years, with a majority of those women stating that such violence was a problem in their relationships. These findings demonstrated the viability of the screening technique, which supports the growing importance of implementing intimate partner violence screenings in clinical settings in order to reduce the prevalence of violence in intimate relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1325
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 7 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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