Clinical Features of Heterosexual Intimate Partner Violence Victims With Escalating Injury Severity

Anna Wai-Man CHOI, Barbara Chuen-Yee LO, Janet Yuen-Ha WONG, Ruby Tsz-Fung LO, Phyllis Cheuk-Wing CHAU, John Kit-Shing WONG, Chu-Leung LAU, Chak-Wah KAM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is largely recognized to have a cyclical pattern and violence escalation in terms of frequency and intensity over time. However, there is a lack of systematic investigation of the profiles of victims and quantification of the patterns of injury of the victims associated with the first time versus repeated violence episodes. This study aimed to fill this knowledge gap by medical chart review of 878 victims in a 5-year period from 2010 to 2014 in Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of two public general hospitals in Hong Kong. The differences in injury patterns between the first IPV episode (FE) and recurrent IPV episodes (REs) experienced by male and female victims in heterosexual relationship were evaluated. The results indicated the violence escalation occurred in recurrent IPV in both genders. In female victims, there was significant increase in the number of injury locations (mean [M] = 2.0 vs. 2.2, p < .05), number of causes of injury (M = 1.7 vs. 2.2, p < .001) and police escort (15.2% vs. 22.1%, p < .05) in RE compared to FE. In male victims, however, only the increase in the number of causes of injury was significant (M = 1.6 vs. 2.1, p < .05) in RE compared to FE. In summary, our results highlight the escalation in the severity of harm of IPV victims in heterosexual relationship, and the gender differences in severity aggression and injury and help-seeking behavior change in recurrent IPV. Preventive measures are indicated to intervene the IPV occurrence and recurrence with rising morbidity and a potential of mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number886260519850539
Pages (from-to)8585-8605
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number17-18
Early online date29 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • abused women
  • escalation of violence
  • injury
  • intimate partner violence
  • male victims
  • spouse abuse


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