Women's intimate partner violence versus community violence: Comparing injuries as presented in Iceland's largest emergency department

Drífa Jónasdóttir*, Thordis Thorsteinsdottir, Tinna L. Ásgeirsdóttir, Eiríkur Arnarson, Eleni Marina Ashikali, Brynjólfur Mogensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a widespread, often unidentified and hidden public health problem, which has serious consequences. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the clinical characteristics of women's violence inflicted physical injuries, as presented at Iceland's largest Emergency Department (ED). Three groups were created based on registered reason of injury: (1) IPV, (2) community violence (CV) with a history of IPV (HIPV), and (3) CV with no history of IPV.

METHODS: Data was collected retrospectively by using the Nomesco classification system of external causes of injuries. Participants were adult women, residing in the capital area, visiting the ED during 2005-2019.

RESULTS: IPV inflicted ED visits declined by 45% during the research period and CV visits declined by 61%. Women in the IPV group had the highest prevalence of repeated new ED visits per 1000 women in the capital area. The majority of IPV occurred in residential areas (86.4%), inflicted by a current partner (54.7%), and included only one perpetrator (95.3%). Women involved in CV were most likely to visit the ED on weekends (p = 0.003) and IPV women were most likely to visit between 08:00 and 16:00 (p < 0.001). Superficial injuries were the most common type of injury among all groups and IPV women were twice as likely (7.1%) to have injuries on their neck than CV women (3.5%). IPV women were most likely to be admitted (3.0%).

CONCLUSION: Time of ED visit, number of perpetrators and location of assault can be indicators of IPV inflicted injuries, as opposed to otherwise inflicted injuries. Repeated visits, superficial injuries and neck injuries might also be an indicator of IPV, however wounds and sprains and injuries on head and upper limbs are more likely to be non-IPV inflicted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101192
Pages (from-to)101192
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Landspitali University Hospital. Landspitali University Hospital Science Fund [A-2021-071, 2021]. University of Iceland Research Fund [2020]. The Icelandic Gender Equality Fund [2018]. Reykjavík City Council's Human Rights and Democracy Office [R15060027, 2015].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Other keywords

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Prevalence
  • Violence against women
  • Women's ED visits
  • Women's injuries
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Violence
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Iceland/epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies


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