Rural Versus Urban Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence-Related Emergency Department Visits, 2009-2014


Intimate partner violence (IPV) includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, psychological aggression, and reproductive control by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, domestic partner, or spouse. IPV is a major public health issue that adversely impacts physical and mental health and quality of life.

This retrospective study examines the prevalence of IPV-related emergency department (ED) visits by rural and urban status and U.S. census regions using discharge data from the National Emergency Department Sample. Key findings indicate IPV-related ED visits among patients ages 15-64 were higher in rural versus urban areas in all regions except the Midwest. Women ages 15-64 represented 93% of IPV-related ED visits in urban areas compared to 95% in rural areas. Both rural men and women admitted to the ED with an IPV-related diagnosis were more likely to be in the lower half of the income distribution and to have public health insurance than their urban counterparts.

Southwest Rural Health Research Center
Maria Perez-Patron, Nancy Downing, Nora Montalvo-Liendo, Brandie Taylor