Our intern Sara is tackling the results of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010) through a series of ongoing posts.
I last shared a basic overview of my take on and reaction to the Prevent Connect webinar titled: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010: New Knowledge and Unanswered Questions. At that point I was still trying to process all of the information that I was given; it was a lot of information in a relatively short period of time, and it really took me a while to be able to process through it all and fully digest it. Rather than try to tackle the entire webinar at once, I have now decided to break it down and focus on it, piece by piece.
First of all, what is NISVIS? NISVIS is an ongoing survey of adults in the United States, 18 and up that is meant to not only describe the prevalence and characteristics of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking and who is likely to experience these types of violence but also focuses on the impacts and health consequences.
NISVIS is unique because it looks at abuse from the perspective of health rather than a crime context and because it focuses on capturing data regarding violence consistent with how the victims actually recall their experiences with violence.
WEAVE identifies five different types of abuse, but these are just basic categories of physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and spiritual abuse. Abuse can happen in different contexts, which is what NISVIS really looked at; how victims are experiencing abuse.
As a survivor myself, I know that it can be all too easy to think that we are alone in our abuse, and that no one else is experiencing what we are. Looking at the many different ways in which others experience abuse, we can see that we are not alone. NISVIS looked at the basic categories of abuse, however it also showed how the different types of abuse overlap.
In regards to those who participated in the 2010 NISVIS 57% of female participants experienced only physical violence, 3% experienced stalking, and 4% experienced rape. Then when looking at different combinations of abuse, 9% of female victims experienced rape and physical violence, 1% experiences rape and stalking, 14% experienced physical violence and stalking and 12% experienced all three types of violence.
Male victims experienced violence much differently than women, while male victims also predominantly experience only physical violence; it was at an astounding rate of 92%. 6% of male participants reported experiencing stalking and physical violence and then 2% of participants responded with “other combinations of abuse”.
The impact of violence and abuse on a victim varies, and results of the abuse can range in how long they impact the victim. Beyond physical harm that results in needing immediate medical care, victims often become fearful, suffer from PTSD symptoms, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches, concern for their safety, need advocacy or legal assistance, need housing assistance and often miss work or school as a result of the abuse.
Long term effects can look much different. NISVIS noted that among female victims there is a higher prevalence of asthma, diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome and both male and female victims note a higher prevalence of chronic pain, activity limitations, and poor physical and mental health. I had no idea that the results of intimate partner violence could be so far reaching. This only goes to further support that more needs to be done to support victims and survivors and to prevent intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking.
Remember, the full webinar recording can be found here: http://preventconnect.org/2012/05/national-intimate-partner-and-sexual-violence-survey-2010-new-knowledge-and-unanswered-question/.