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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Should Begin in Early Adolescence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a preventable public health problem. A new study by Dr. Ashley M. Bush of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health  documents that intimate partner violence among adolescents can result in deaths of intimate partners and corollary victims. Thus, effective prevention should begin in early adolescence and incorporate shared and protective risk factors to have the greatest impact on adolescent IPV.

Prior research has mainly examined IPV-related fatalities between adult partners. This study documents the extent and circumstances of fatal IPV among adolescents by quantifying the burden across a five-year span, describing fatal victims by demographics and precipitating circumstances, and examining differences by victim type.

Dr. Bush reviewed data covering 17 states in the U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System from 2011 to 2015 to examine fatal IPV-related incidents involving at least one adolescent partner, defined as youth from 15 to 19 years of age.  The report finds that in the time period and locations studied, there were 93 IPV-related fatal incidents among adolescents with 116 decedents. Firearms were the predominant weapon. Crises, arguments, jealousy, and physical fights were common precipitating circumstances. Corollary victims represented 18 percent of all victims, 65 percent were intimate partner victims, and 17 percent perpetrator victims. Corollary victims were primarily linked to the suspect by other intimate partners, and friends and acquaintances.

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