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Patterns of intimate partner violence against women in Europe: prevalence and associated risk factors
  1. Zuzana Podaná
  1. Department of Sociology, Charles University Faculty of Arts, Praha, Czech Republic
  1. Correspondence to Zuzana Podaná, Charles University Faculty of Arts, 116 38 Praha, Czech Republic; zuzana.podana{at}


Background Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex phenomenon and some research suggests that there are qualitatively distinct IPV types. However, little is known about the risk factors associated with different IPV types.

Methods Data from Violence against women: an European Union (EU)-wide survey, conducted by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights was used. Latent class analysis (LCA) was employed to identify distinct IPV patterns based on the intensity of eight forms of violence by current partners (n=30 675). Multilevel multinomial logistic regression was used to examine individual and country-level risk factors associated with the outcome IPV patterns.

Results A five-class solution was selected based on the LCA results. Two classes encompassed severe coercive IPV: the intimate terrorism class (1.5%) also comprised extensive physical violence whereas the high coercive control class (2.0%) did not. The partner’s alcohol abuse, violent behaviour outside the relationship and the woman’s abuse in childhood were the main individual factors positively associated with IPV. The country’s gender equality levels were negatively associated with the odds of experiencing intimate terrorism (adjusted OR, aOR 0.35, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.56) and high coercive control (aOR 0.63, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.85) versus no IPV. Although the effects of most individual risk factors were found universally for all IPV patterns, the strongest associations were typically revealed for the intimate terrorism pattern.

Conclusion The results support the importance of coercive control as a factor differentiating between IPV types and also highlight the need to consider IPV typologies in research. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.

  • violence
  • gender
  • public health
  • multilevel modelling

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  • Contributors ZP is the sole author of this work.

  • Funding This study was funded by the Czech Science Foundation (GA18-23940S).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Deidentified data can be obtained from the UK Data Service under special licence conditions. The terms also include approval of the project by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and a submission of the final analysis to the FRA for statistical disclosure control and comments. More information about the dataset and access terms can be found at the following link:

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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