Reciprocal intimate partner violence

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Reciprocal intimate partner violence involves intimate partner violence (IPV) in which each person in the relationship is both a perpetrator and victim of IPV. The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge (PASK) Project, the largest meta-analysis of DV/IPV research ever undertaken, shows that more than half of all IPV is reciprocal.[1]

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study found high rates of reciprocal IPV among study participants. The document “Findings About Partner Violence From the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study” released by the US National Institute of Justice found:

When the data were analyzed, victimized women were 10 times more likely to be perpetrators than other women and male perpetrators also were 19 times more likely to be victims than other men."[2]

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health also found that about half of all IPV is reciprocal IPV. The study examined differences in injury rates between reciprocal and non-reciprocal IPV and found that injury rates are higher in reciprocal IPV than non-reciprocal IPV.[3]

One of the key indicators of whether a woman will be a victim of IPV is whether she is a perpetrator of IPV.[4] It follows then that one important way that a woman can avoid being a victim of IPV is to not be a perpetrator of IPV. Research by Capaldi has found that this holds true.[5]

Models that ignore reciprocal IPV can inhibit violent women from receiving the support they need to stop their violence.[6][7]

Governments, domestic violence organisations and the wider community completely ignore reciprocal IPV. By ignoring the prevalence of reciprocal IPV these groups are preventing effective interventions as they discount the need to intervene with violent women. This will contribute to the continuation of reciprocal IPV and actually make it more likely that the women involved will be injured. By ignoring reciprocal IPV White Ribbon Australia is contributing to violence against women.