Jennifer M. Gierisch, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Abigail Shapiro, M.S.P.H.
Nicole N. Grant, M.D.
Heather A. King, Ph.D
Jennifer R. McDuffie, Ph.D.
John W. Williams Jr., M.D., M.H.Sc.
Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) Center
Durham VA Medical Center
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; August 2013
In the United States, intimate partner violence (IPV) poses a significant public health burden that
affects both men and women. Over a third (35.6%) of women and a fourth (28.5%) of men in
the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in
their lifetime. Outcomes associated with IPV include a wide range of social, physical, and mental
issues such as family dissolution, adverse pregnancy outcomes, mental health issues (depression,
posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], anxiety), incarceration, and death. IPV affects many
facets of society including medical, mental health, social services, and criminal justice systems.
Moreover, productivity losses and costs attributable to IPV are significant.
Military service has unique psychological, social, and environmental factors that may contribute
to elevated risk of IPV among active duty servicemembers and Veterans. Multiple deployments,
family separation and reintegration, demanding workloads at home and while on duty, histories
of head trauma, mental illness, and substance abuse can contribute to partner conflict and
elevated risk of IPV among active duty servicemembers, Veterans, and their intimate partners.
Currently the VA does not have a comprehensive national program to address IPV. Thus, the
VA convened the Domestic Violence Task Force to define the scope of, and design a plan
for evaluating domestic violence among Veterans. In order to support the goals and mission
of this task force, the Durham VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program conducted a systemic
review of the literature to synthesize the evidence on the prevalence of IPV among active duty
servicemembers and Veterans and to conduct an evidence synthesis of the systematic review
(SR) literature on intervention strategies to address IPV.