Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Community-Based Care Initiatives
Effects of Intimate Partner Violence in Middle Age and Older Women
Elizabeth E. Hill, RN, MS, PhD, School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, Julie A. Owens, BA, Southwest Region, Council for Women & Domestic Violence Commission, Charlotte, NC, USA, and Cindy Spencer, BA, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline, Waimanalo, HI, USA.
Learning Objective #1: describe middle age and older women's perceptions of factors contributing to intimate partner violence in their relationships.
Learning Objective #2: describe middle age and older women's experiences of guilt, numbing, anger and self-blame related to intimate partner violence.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a leading cause of injury for women in the United States, with health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide exceeding $5.8 billion each year.  Twenty-five percent of over 6,000 women surveyed by the National Institute of Justice in 2000 reported victimization by an intimate partner during their lifetime, but only one-fifth of the rapes, one-fourth of physical assaults, and one-half of stalkings perpetrated by an intimate partner against the women in the sample had been reported to police at the time of the occurrence. With increases in the older US population, IPV among middle age and older women is becoming an issue of major concern.  Limited data exist on the incidence and effects of IPV among middle age and older women.  Some authors suggest that the rates of IPV may be higher in women aged 50 to 79 than in younger women, and may be more under reported.  It is estimated that for every substantiated case of elder abuse, there are more than five times as many unreported incidents, with spouses being second only to the victim’s adult children as the largest group of perpetrators of this abuse.  The psychological effects of IPV and abuse among middle age and older women may be debilitating and long lasting.  This qualitative pilot study is a secondary analysis of audio taped therapy sessions with middle age and older female victims of IPV who participated in a study evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive trauma therapy as treatment for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Findings from this study describe middle age and older women’s perceptions of the factors contributing to IPV in their relationship, their psychological responses to IPV, and their responses to therapeutic intervention for PTSD.