Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 841–847 | Cite as

Prevalence and Characteristics of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women with Severe Mental Illness: A Prevalence Study in Spain

  • Juan González CasesEmail author
  • Cristina Polo Usaola
  • Francisco González Aguado
  • Marisa López Gironés
  • Margarita Rullas Trincado
  • Alberto Fernández Liria
Brief Report


This study examined the prevalence and characteristics of intimate partner violence (IPV) towards women with a severe mental illness (SMI). The sample consisted of 142 adult women with SMI treated in public mental health services in three districts of Madrid (Spain). The prevalence of IPV in the 12 months preceding the interview was 30.3 % and over the lifespan was 79.6 %. 32.7 % of women victims of violence do not qualify themselves as battered women. 48.5 % of battered women do not talk about their abusive situation with anyone or come to any resource or service. Women victims of abuse have low social support. Women who have suffered physical abuse in childhood are at 2.22 times higher risk of being victims of IPV in the past year. Mental health professionals identified 50 % of recent abuse cases. This research highlights the extent of IPV experienced by women with SMI.


Intimate partner violence Mental illness Prevalence Abuse Schizophrenia 



The authors received financial support for the research from a subsidy relating to the implementation of the strategies of the National Health System in 2010. RD 829/2010 of 25 June (BOE 07/09/10) included in point 3. “Prevention of domestic violence”, Ministry of Health and Social Policy, Government of Spain.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan González Cases
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Cristina Polo Usaola
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francisco González Aguado
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marisa López Gironés
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margarita Rullas Trincado
    • 1
    • 4
  • Alberto Fernández Liria
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Human Rights SectionSpanish Association of NeuropsychiatryMadridSpain
  2. 2.Mental Health Center HortalezaUniversity Hospital Ramón y CajalMadridSpain
  3. 3.Mental Health CenterUniversity Hospital Príncipe de AsturiasAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  4. 4.Psychosocial Rehabilitation CenterSan Fernando de HenaresSpain
  5. 5.University of AlcalaAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  6. 6.Psychosocial Rehabilitation CenterAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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