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This document describes what is known about the national prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) against
women in the Americas across countries and over time, including the geographic coverage, quality, and comparability of national data.

This was a systematic review and reanalysis of national, population-based IPV estimates from 1998 – 2017 in the Americas. Estimates were reanalyzed for comparability or extracted from reports, including IPV prevalence by type (physical; sexual; physical and/or sexual), timeframe (ever; past year), and perpetrator (any partner in life; current/most recent partner). In countries with 3+ rounds of data, Cochran-Armitage and Pearson chi-square tests were used to assess whether changes over time were significant (P < 0.05).

Eligible surveys were found in 24 countries. Women reported ever having experienced physical and/or sexual IPV at rates that ranged from 14% – 17% of women in Brazil, Panama, and Uruguay to over one-half (58.5%) in Bolivia. Past-year prevalence of physical and/or sexual IPV ranged from 1.1% in Canada to 27.1% in Bolivia. Preliminary evidence suggests a possible decline in reported prevalence of certain types of IPV in eight countries; however, some changes were small, some indicators did not change significantly, and significant increases were found in the reported prevalence of past-year physical IPV in the Dominican Republic.

IPV against women remains a public health and human rights problem across the Americas; however, the evidence base has gaps, suggesting a need for more comparable, high quality evidence for mobilizing and monitoring violence prevention and response.

Interactive IPV charts

Click on the charts to see how the prevalence of intimate partner violence has changed in the region

These charts present a preliminary analysis of changes over time in the reported prevalence of physical IPV and sexual IPV (ever and past 12 months) in seven countries with 3+ rounds of comparable data collection over 10-20 years. Physical and sexual IPV were analyzed separately, in case they changed in different directions or at different rates. Changes in past year prevalence may reflect recent changes in levels of violence, while changes in lifetime prevalence of IPV may reflect longer term changes, including different life experiences of young women of reproductive age compared with older cohorts of women aging out of samples. The reported prevalence of both physical and sexual IPV declined significantly (per Cochran-Armitage chi square trend testing) in all countries, except for physical IPV in the Dominican Republic (which rose significantly); sexual IPV in the past year in the Dominican Republic (which did not change); and physical IPV ever in Haiti (which rose significantly per Cochran-Armitage but not Pearson chi square test). Given the limited number of data points for most countries and the fact that in some countries, prevalence rose before it fell (or vice versa), these findings should be considered preliminary, and they suggest a need for monitoring over a longer period of time and across age groups.

Move the cursor over the charts to see how the prevalence of intimate partner violence has changed in the region. Choose the different charts by clicking on the upper tabs.