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Cycles of violence in England and Wales: the contribution of childhood abuse to risk of violence revictimisation in adulthood.

Butler, N, Quigg, Z and Bellis, MA (2020) Cycles of violence in England and Wales: the contribution of childhood abuse to risk of violence revictimisation in adulthood. BMC Medicine, 18 (1). ISSN 1741-7015

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interpersonal violence is a leading cause of death and disability globally, has immediate and long-term impacts on individuals' health and wellbeing, and impacts global health care expenditures and national economies. A public health approach to violence prevention is crucial, and addressing risk factors is a key priority. Global research has demonstrated that childhood adversity increases risk of a range of poor outcomes across the lifecourse. This study examined the association between being a victim of child abuse and the risk of physical assault (PA), intimate partner violence (IPV), and sexual violence (SV) victimisation in adulthood. METHODS: Data from a nationally representative survey of household residents (adults aged 16 to 59 years; n = 21,845) was analysed. Types of child abuse examined included physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and witnessing domestic violence. Logistic regressions examined the independent relationships between child abuse types, experiencing multiple types, and adulthood violence outcomes. RESULTS: Most individual types of child abuse were significantly associated with each adulthood violence outcome, after controlling for sociodemographics and other abuse types. Compared to individuals who experienced no abuse in childhood, those who experienced one form of abuse were over twice as likely to experience PA in the past year and three times as likely to have experienced IPV and/or SV since age 16 years, whilst individuals who experienced multiple types were three, six, and seven times more likely to experience PA, IPV, and SV, respectively. After controlling for sociodemographics and multi-type childhood victimisation, the type or combination of types which remained significant differed by violence outcome; child psychological and physical abuse were significantly associated with IPV; psychological and sexual abuse with SV; and psychological abuse with PA. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention of child abuse is an important goal, and evidence from the current study suggests such efforts will have a downstream effect on preventing interpersonal violence across the lifecourse. With adulthood victimisation likely to compound the already detrimental effects of childhood abuse, and given that many associated outcomes also represent adversities for the next generation, breaking the cycle of violence should be a public health priority.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: BioMed Central
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 11:35
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 11:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1186/s12916-020-01788-3
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14074

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