Evidence-Based Interventions for Mental Health Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

  • Emma Yapp
  • Roxanne Keynejad
  • Siân OramEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Intimate partner violence is one of the most prevalent forms of violence against women worldwide and is associated with a wide variety of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and psychosis. This chapter reviews the evidence for an association between intimate partner violence and mental disorders, and then summarizes the results of a rapid review of evidence on interventions for the mental health consequences of intimate partner violence. Available research suggests a bidirectional association between intimate partner violence and mental health problems. Although a variety of interventions addressing the mental health consequences of intimate partner violence has been described, the literature largely focuses on women with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies of the mental health effects of intimate partner violence on women with severe mental illness, and studies conducted in mental health settings, remain limited. This chapter concludes with a summary of the strengths, limitations, and gaps in the evidence base, which require urgent research attention.


Intimate partner violence Domestic violence Mental health 


  1. Allard CB, Norman SB, Thorp SR, Browne KC, Stein MB (2016) Mid-treatment reduction in trauma-related guilt predicts PTSD and functioning following cognitive trauma therapy for survivors of intimate partner violence. J Interpers Violence.
  2. Amaro H, Dai J, Arevalo S, Acevedo A, Matsumoto A, Nieves R, Prado G (2007) Effects of integrated trauma treatment on outcomes in a racially/ethnically diverse sample of women in urban community-based substance abuse treatment. J Urban Health: Bull N Y Acad Med 84(4):508–522. Scholar
  3. Arroyo K, Lundahl B, Butters R, Vanderloo M, Wood DS (2017) Short-term interventions for survivors of intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 18(2):155–171Google Scholar
  4. Ayub M, Irfan M, Nasr T, Lutufullah M, Kingdon D, Naeem F (2009) Psychiatric morbidity and domestic violence: a survey of married women in Lahore. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 44(11):953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck AT, Steer RA, Carbin MG (1988) Psychometric properties of the Beck depression inventory: twenty-five years of evaluation. Clin Psychol Rev 8(1):77–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beck AT, Steer RA, Ball R, Ranieri WF (1996) Comparison of Beck depression inventories-IA and-II in psychiatric outpatients. J Pers Assess 67(3):588–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bengtsson-Tops A, Markström U, Lewin B (2005) The prevalence of abuse in Swedish female psychiatric users, the perpetrators and places were abuse occurred. Nord J Psychiatry 59(6):504–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blake D, Weathers F, Nagy L, Kaloupek D, Klauminzer G, Charney D, Keane T, Buckley T (1990) Clinician-administered PTSD scale (CAPS). National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Boston, Massachussetts thoughGoogle Scholar
  9. Blanchard EB, Jones-Alexander J, Buckley TC, Forneris CA (1996) Psychometric properties of the PTSD checklist (PCL). Behav Res Ther 34(8):669–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bott S, Guedes A, Goodwin MM, Mendoza JA (2012) Violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a comparative analysis of population-based data from 12 countries. PAHO – Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  11. Bundock L, Howard LM, Trevillion K, Malcolm E, Feder G, Oram S (2013) Prevalence and risk of experiences of intimate partner violence among people with eating disorders: a systematic review. J Psychiatr Res 47(9):1134–1142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark CJ, Lewis-Dmello A, Anders D, Parsons A, Nguyen-Feng V, Henn L, Emerson D (2014) Trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for survivors of domestic violence: a feasibility study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 20(3):152–158. Scholar
  13. Cort NA, Cerulli C, Poleshuck EL, Bellenger KM, Xia Y, Tu X, Mazzotta CM, Talbot NL (2014) Interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed women with histories of intimate partner violence. Psychol Trauma Theory Res Pract Policy 6(6):700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Covington SS, Burke C, Keaton S, Norcott C (2008) Evaluation of a trauma-informed and gender-responsive intervention for women in drug treatment. J Psychoactive Drugs Suppl 5:387–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cox JW, Stoltenberg CD (1991) Evaluation of a treatment program for battered wives. J Fam Violence 6(4):395–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crespo M, Arinero M (2010) Assessment of the efficacy of a psychological treatment for women victims of violence by their intimate male partner. Span J Psychol 13(2):849–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dauber S, John T, Hogue A, Nugent J, Hernandez G (2017) Development and implementation of a screen-and-refer approach to addressing maternal depression, substance use, and intimate partner violence in home visiting clients. Child Youth Serv Rev 81:157–167. Scholar
  18. Devries KM, Mak JY, Bacchus LJ, Child JC, Falder G, Petzold M, Astbury J, Watts CH (2013) Intimate partner violence and incident depressive symptoms and suicide attempts: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. PLoS Med 10(5):e1001439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Devries K, Child JC, Bacchus LJ, Mak J, Falder G, Graham K, Watts C, Heise L (2014) Intimate partner violence victimization and alcohol consumption in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction 109(3):379–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Donaldson A, Marshall L (2005) Domestic abuse prevalence: Argyll and Clyde DAP study. Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire Domestic Abuse PartnershipGoogle Scholar
  21. Dutton MA, Bermudez D, Matas A, Majid H, Myers NL (2013) Mindfulness-based stress reduction for low-income, predominantly African American women with PTSD and a history of intimate partner violence. Cogn Behav Pract 20(1):23–32. Scholar
  22. El-Mohandes AA, Kiely M, Joseph JG, Subramanian S, Johnson AA, Blake SM, Gantz MG, El-Khorazaty MN (2008) An intervention to improve postpartum outcomes in African-American mothers: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 112(3):611–620. Scholar
  23. European Institute for Gender Equality (2016) Analysis of national definitions of intimate partner violence.
  24. Ferrari G, Feder G, Agnew-Davies R, Bailey JE, Hollinghurst S, Howard L, Howarth E, Sardinha L, Sharp D, Peters TJ (2018) Psychological advocacy towards healing (PATH): a randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention in a domestic violence service setting. PLoS One 13(11):e0205485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Foa EB, Cashman L, Jaycox L, Perry K (1997) The validation of a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder: the posttraumatic diagnostic scale. Psychol Assess 9(4):445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ford-Gilboe M, Varcoe C, Scott-Storey K, Wuest J, Case J, Currie LM, Glass N, Hodgins M, MacMillan H, Perrin N, Wathen CN (2017) A tailored online safety and health intervention for women experiencing intimate partner violence: the iCAN plan 4 safety randomized controlled trial protocol. BMC Public Health 17(1):273. Scholar
  27. Franzblau SH, Echevarria S, Smith M, Van Cantfort TE (2008) A preliminary investigation of the effects of giving testimony and learning yogic breathing techniques on battered women’s feelings of depression. J Interpers Violence 23(12):1800–1808. Scholar
  28. Frueh BC, Grubaugh AL, Cusack KJ, Kimble MO, Elhai JD, Knapp RG (2009) Exposure-based cognitive-behavioral treatment of PTSD in adults with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: a pilot study. J Anxiety Disord 23(5):665–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Garcia-Moreno C, Jansen HA, Ellsberg M, Heise L, Watts CH (2006) Prevalence of intimate partner violence: findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. Lancet 368(9543):1260–1269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Glass NE, Perrin NA, Hanson GC, Bloom TL, Messing JT, Clough AS, Campbell JC, Gielen AC, Case J, Eden KB (2017) The longitudinal impact of an internet safety decision aid for abused women. Am J Prev Med 52(5):606–615. Scholar
  31. Golding JM (1999) Intimate partner violence as a risk factor for mental disorders: a meta-analysis. J Fam Violence 14(2):99–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Grant BF, Goldstein RB (2011) Unpublished data (wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on alcohol and related conditions). Supplements Pietrzak, R.H. et al “prevalence and Axis I comorbidity of full and partial posttraumatic stress disorder in the United States: results from wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on alcohol and related conditions”. J Anxiety Disord 25:456–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hansen NB, Eriksen SB, Elklit A (2014) Effects of an intervention program for female victims of intimate partner violence on psychological symptoms and perceived social support. Eur J Psychotraumatol:5.
  34. Hassija C, Gray MJ (2011) The effectiveness and feasibility of videoconferencing technology to provide evidence-based treatment to rural domestic violence and sexual assault populations. Telemed J e-Health: Off J Am Telemed Assoc 17(4):309–315. Scholar
  35. Hegarty K, Tarzia L, Valpied J, Murray E, Humphreys C, Taft A, Novy K, Gold L, Glass N (2019) An online healthy relationship tool and safety decision aid for women experiencing intimate partner violence (I-DECIDE): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Public Health 4(6):e301–e310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Howard L, Trevillion K, Khalifeh H, Woodall A, Agnew-Davies R, Feder G (2010) Domestic violence and severe psychiatric disorders: prevalence and interventions. Psychol Med 40(6):881–893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Howard LM, Oram S, Galley H, Trevillion K, Feder G (2013) Domestic violence and perinatal mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 10(5):e1001452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Iverson K, Gradus J, Resick P, Suvak M, Smith K, Monson C (2011a) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and depression symptoms reduces risk for future intimate partner violence among interpersonal trauma survivors. J Consult Clin Psychol 79(2):193–202. Scholar
  39. Iverson KM, Resick PA, Suvak MK, Walling S, Taft CT (2011b) Intimate partner violence exposure predicts PTSD treatment engagement and outcome in cognitive processing therapy. Behav Ther 42(2):236–248. Scholar
  40. Jahanfar S, Janssen PA, Howard LM, Dowswell T (2013) Interventions for preventing or reducing domestic violence against pregnant women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2Google Scholar
  41. Jansson K (2007) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: findings from the 2005/06 British crime survey. Home Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  42. Johnson DM, Zlotnick C (2006) A cognitive-behavioral treatment for battered women with PTSD in shelters: findings from a pilot study. J Trauma Stress 19(4):559–564. Scholar
  43. Johnson DM, Zlotnick C, Perez S (2011) Cognitive behavioral treatment of PTSD in residents of battered women’s shelters: results of a randomized clinical trial. J Consult Clin Psychol 79(4):542–551. Scholar
  44. Johnson DM, Johnson NL, Perez SK, Palmieri PA, Zlotnick C (2016) Comparison of adding treatment of PTSD during and after shelter stay to standard care in residents of battered women’s shelters: results of a randomized clinical trial. J Trauma Stress 29(4):365–373. Scholar
  45. Jonas S, Khalifeh H, Bebbington PE, McManus S, Brugha T, Meltzer H, Howard LM (2014) Gender differences in intimate partner violence and psychiatric disorders in England: results from the 2007 adult psychiatric morbidity survey. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 23(2):189–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Karatzias T, Ferguson S, Gullone A, Cosgrove K (2016) Group psychotherapy for female adult survivors of interpersonal psychological trauma: a preliminary study in Scotland. J Ment Health (Abingdon, England) 25(6):512–519. Scholar
  47. Kaslow N, Leiner A, Reviere S, Jackson E, Bethea K, Bhaju J, Rhodes M, Gantt M, Senter H, Thompson M (2010) Suicidal, abused African American women’s response to a culturally informed intervention. J Consult Clin Psychol 78(4):449–458. Scholar
  48. Kelly A, Garland EL (2016) Trauma-informed mindfulness-based stress reduction for female survivors of interpersonal violence: results from a stage I RCT. J Clin Psychol 72(4):311–328. Scholar
  49. Kelly UA, Pich K (2014) Community-based PTSD treatment for ethnically diverse women who experienced intimate partner violence: a feasibility study. Issues Ment Health Nurs 35(12):906–913. Scholar
  50. Khalifeh H, Moran P, Borschmann R, Dean K, Hart C, Hogg J, Osborn D, Johnson S, Howard L (2015) Domestic and sexual violence against patients with severe mental illness. Psychol Med 45(4):875–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Khangura S, Konnyu K, Cushman R, Grimshaw J, Moher D (2012) Evidence summaries: the evolution of a rapid review approach. Syst Rev 1(1):10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kokka A, Mikelatou M, Fouka G, Varvogli L, Chrousos GP, Darviri C (2016) Stress management and health promotion in a sample of women with intimate partner violence: a randomized controlled trial. J Interpers Violence.:886260516658759.
  53. Koopman C, Ismailji T, Holmes D, Classen CC, Palesh O, Wales T (2005) The effects of expressive writing on pain, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in survivors of intimate partner violence. J Health Psychol 10(2):211–221. Scholar
  54. Koziol-McLain J, Vandal AC, Wilson D, Nada-Raja S, Dobbs T, McLean C, Sisk R, Eden KB, Glass NE (2018) Efficacy of a web-based safety decision aid for women experiencing intimate partner violence: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res 19(12):e426. Scholar
  55. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB (2001) The PHQ-9. J Gen Intern Med 16(9):606–613PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  56. Kubany ES, Hill EE, Owens JA (2003) Cognitive trauma therapy for battered women with PTSD: preliminary findings. J Trauma Stress 16(1):81–91. Scholar
  57. Kubany ES, Hill EE, Owens JA, Iannce-Spencer C, McCaig MA, Tremayne KJ, Williams PL (2004) Cognitive trauma therapy for battered women with PTSD (CTT-BW). J Consult Clin Psychol 72(1):3–18. Scholar
  58. Lagdon S, Armour C, Stringer M (2014) Adult experience of mental health outcomes as a result of intimate partner violence victimisation: a systematic review. Eur J Psychotraumatol 5(1):24794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lövestad S, Löve J, Vaez M, Krantz G (2017) Prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with symptoms of depression; a cross-sectional study based on a female population sample in Sweden. BMC Public Health 17(1):335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lu W, Fite R, Kim E, Hyer L, Yanos PT, Mueser KT, Rosenberg SD (2009) Cognitive-behavioral treatment of PTSD in severe mental illness: pilot study replication in an ethnically diverse population. Am J Psychiatr Rehabil 12(1):73–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Michalopoulou E, Tzamalouka G, Chrousos GP, Darviri C (2015) Stress management and intimate partner violence: a randomized controlled trial. J Fam Violence 30(6):795–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. NICE PH50: domestic violence and abuse: multi-agency working (2014)Google Scholar
  63. Nicolaidis C, Mejia A, Perez M, Alvarado A, Celaya-Alston R, Quintero Y, Aguillon R (2013a) Proyecto Interconexiones: a pilot test of a community-based depression care program for Latina violence survivors. Prog Community Health Partnerships: Res Educ Action 7(4):395–401. Scholar
  64. Nicolaidis C, Wahab S, Trimble J, Mejia A, Mitchell SR, Raymaker D, Thomas MJ, Timmons V, Waters AS (2013b) The interconnections project: development and evaluation of a community-based depression program for African American violence survivors. J Gen Intern Med 28(4):530–538. Scholar
  65. Office for National Statistics (2017) Focus on violent crime and sexual offences, England and Wales: year ending Mar 2016.
  66. Okuda M, Olfson M, Hasin D, Grant BF, Lin K-H, Blanco C (2011) Mental health of victims of intimate partner violence: results from a national epidemiologic survey. Psychiatr Serv 62(8):959–962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Oram S, Trevillion K, Feder G, Howard L (2013) Prevalence of experiences of domestic violence among psychiatric patients: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry 202(2):94–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Pallitto C, Garcia-Moreno C, Stoeckl H, Hatcher A, MacPhail C, Mokoatle K, Woollett N (2016) Testing a counselling intervention in antenatal care for women experiencing partner violence: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial in Johannesburg, South Africa. BMC Health Serv Res 16(1):630. Scholar
  69. Resick P, Galovski T, Uhlmansiek M, Scher C, Clum G, Young-Xu Y (2008) A randomized clinical trial to dismantle components of cognitive processing therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in female victims of interpersonal violence. J Consult Clin Psychol 76(2):243–258. Scholar
  70. Rivas C, Ramsay J, Sadowski L, Davidson LL, Dunne D, Eldridge S, Hegarty K, Taft A, Feder G (2015) Advocacy interventions to reduce or eliminate violence and promote the physical and psychosocial well-being of women who experience intimate partner abuse. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 12:Cd005043. Scholar
  71. Sijbrandij M, Bryant RA, Schafer A, Dawson KS, Anjuri D, Ndogoni L, Ulate J, Hamdani SU, van Ommeren M (2016) Problem management plus (PM+) in the treatment of common mental disorders in women affected by gender-based violence and urban adversity in Kenya; study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Int J Ment Heal Syst 10:44. Scholar
  72. Smith SG, Chen J, Basile KC, Gilbert LK, Merrick MT, Patel N, Walling M, Jain A (2017) The National Intimate Partner and sexual violence survey (NISVS): 2010–2012 state report. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  73. Tirado-Muñoz J, Gilchrist G, Farre M, Hegarty K, Torrens M (2014) The efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy and advocacy interventions for women who have experienced intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of medicine, 46(8):567–586Google Scholar
  74. Tiwari A, Leung WC, Leung TW, Humphreys J, Parker B, Ho PC (2005) A randomised controlled trial of empowerment training for Chinese abused pregnant women in Hong Kong. BJOG 112(9):1249–1256. Scholar
  75. Tiwari A, Fong DY, Yuen KH, Yuk H, Pang P, Humphreys J, Bullock L (2010) Effect of an advocacy intervention on mental health in Chinese women survivors of intimate partner violence: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 304(5):536–543. Scholar
  76. Tol WA, Greene MC, Likindikoki S, Misinzo L, Ventevogel P, Bonz AG, Bass JK, Mbwambo JKK (2017) An integrated intervention to reduce intimate partner violence and psychological distress with refugees in low-resource settings: study protocol for the Nguvu cluster randomized trial. BMC Psychiatry 17(1):186. Scholar
  77. Trevillion K (2013) The identification and response of psychiatric services to domestic violence (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). King’s College London, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  78. Trevillion K, Oram S, Feder G, Howard LM (2012) Experiences of domestic violence and mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 7(12):e51740. Scholar
  79. Trevillion K, Byford S, Cary M, Rose D, Oram S, Feder G, Agnew-Davies R, Howard LM (2014) Linking abuse and recovery through advocacy: an observational study. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 23(1):99–113. Scholar
  80. Walby S, Towers J (2017) Untangling the concept of coercive control: theorizing domestic violent crime. Criminol Crim Justice 18(1):7–28Google Scholar
  81. Warshaw C, Sullivan CM, Rivera EA (2013) A systematic review of trauma-focused interventions for domestic violence survivors. National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental HealthGoogle Scholar
  82. Whitehead AL, Julious SA, Cooper CL, Campbell MJ (2016) Estimating the sample size for a pilot randomised trial to minimise the overall trial sample size for the external pilot and main trial for a continuous outcome variable. Stat Methods Med Res 25(3):1057–1073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. World Health Organization (2013a) Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  84. World Health Organization (2013b) Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women WHO clinical and policy guidelines. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  85. World Health Organization (2016) Global plan of action to strengthen the role of the health system within a national multisectoral response to address interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  86. World Psychiatric Association (2017) WPA position paper on intimate partner violence and sexual violence against womenGoogle Scholar
  87. Zust BL (2000) Effect of cognitive therapy on depression in rural, battered women. Arch Psychiatr Nurs 14(2):51–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Women’s Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations