Intimate partner violence: A global challenge to sustainable development

Lorretta FC Ntoimo, Karl E. Eimuhi, Akhere Omonkhua, Friday E. Okonofua


Gender-based violence (GBV) remains one of the most critical unmet challenges relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world. Although men experience GBV, it is disproportionally more prevalent among women, especially with respect to intimate partner violence (IPV). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defined IPV as “physical violence, sexual violence, stalking or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse”1. Many publications document the high prevalence of IPV against women2–5.  Several international agreements and commitments that address the prevention and mitigation of IPV have been put in place over the past decades. These include the Istanbul convention, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the declaration on the elimination of violence against women4,6–9. Despite these global commitments, and the remarkable improvements in women’s empowerment indicators such as school enrolment, representation in parliaments, and labour force participation, IPV remains a challenge in many countries. One in three women in the world has ever experienced physical/or sexual violence by an intimate partner9. The global average of 1 in 3 conceals a wide variation across countries in women’s experience of IPV which ranges from as low as 6% in Singapore, Georgia, and Comoros to a high of 68% in Kiribati3.

Full Text:



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Intimate Partner Violence |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. Published 2021. Accessed August 22, 2021.

Shamu S, Abrahams N, Temmerman M, Musekiwa A and

Zarowsky C. A systematic review of African studies on intimate partner violence against pregnant women: prevalence and risk factors. PloS one. 2011;6(3):e17591.

UNDP. Human Development Report. United Nations

Development Programme; 2020.

World Health Organization. Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-Partner Sexual Violence. World Health Organization; 2013.

Ou C-Y, Yasmin M, Ussatayeva G, Lee M-S and Dalal K.

Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Republic of Benin. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2021;25(4). doi:10.29063/ajrh2020/v25i4.6

Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.; 2011. en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/rms/090000168008482e

United Nations. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.; 1981.

United Nations. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence

against Women. General Assembly; 1993.

World Bank. Gender-Based Violence: Violence against Women and Girls.; 2019. women-and-girls

UNDP. Human Development Report 2015. United Nations

Development Programme; 2015.

Pathak N, Dhairyawan R and Tariq S. The experience of

intimate partner violence among older women: A narrative review. Maturitas. 2019;121:63-75.

Lelaurain S, Graziani P and Monaco GL. Intimate partner

violence and help-seeking. European Psychologist. 2017;22(4):263-281. doi:European Psychologist (2017), 22(4

Vranda MN, Kumar CN, Muralidhar D, Janardhana N and

Sivakumar P. Barriers to disclosure of intimate partner violence among female patients availing services at tertiary care psychiatric hospitals: a qualitative study. Journal of neurosciences in rural practice. 2018;9(03):326-330.

Beyene AS, Chojenta CL and Loxton DJ. Consequences of gender-based violence on female high school students in eastern Ethiopia. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2021;25(4). doi:10.29063/ajrh2020/v25i4.3

Manuh T and Biney AAE. Exploring intersections between

gender-based violence and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in the ECOWAS member states: A review of the literature produced in the sub-region. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2021;25(4). doi:10.29063/ajrh2020/v25i4.13

King K, Murray CE, Crowe A, Hunnicutt G, Lundgren K and Olson L. The costs of recovery: Intimate partner violence survivors’ experiences of financial recovery from abuse. The Family Journal. 2017;25(3):230-238.

Peterson C, Kearns MC, McIntosh WL, Estefan LF, Nicolaidis C, McCollister KE, Gordon A and Florence C. Lifetime economic burden of intimate partner violence among US adults. American journal of preventive medicine. 2018;55(4):433-444.

Walby S. Theorising patriarchy. Sociology. 1989;23(2):213-

Brathwaite R, Addo J, Smeeth L, Lock K. A systematic review of tobacco smoking prevalence and description of tobacco control strategies in Sub-Saharan African countries; 2007 to 2014. PloS one. 2015;10(7):e0132401.

Amato PR. The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and

Children. Journal of Marriage & Family. 2000;62(4):1269-1287. Accessed May 15, 2014.

McDonough P, Walters V. Gender and health: reassessing

patterns and explanations. Social science & medicine. 2001;52(4):547-559.

Ntoimo LFC, Odimegwu CO and Alex-Ojei CA. Tobacco Use Among Men in sub-Saharan Africa: Does Family structure Matter? In: J. Anson et al. (Eds.), Studies in the Sociology of Population. Springer Nature; 2019:343-361.

Schmeer KK and Kroeger RA. Union type and depressive

symptoms among Mexican adults. Journal of family issues. 2011;32(12):1597-1621. doi:10.1177/0192513X11409310

Williams DR. The health of men: structured inequalities and opportunities. American Journal of Public Health. 2003;93(5):724-731.


  • There are currently no refbacks.